“…that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them…” 2 Corinthians 5:19 (NASB).
The entire life of Jesus Christ is more than any one event or situation. For many believers, we seem to focus on his miracles, teachings, death, and resurrection. All these are important as they reveal what Jesus’ believed as He fulfilled Scripture as the Messiah. Yet when we focus only on portions of a person’s life, we may often leave out the larger impact they leave behind.
As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians, God was reconciling the world to Himself through Jesus’ life. Theologians call this the vicarious life – living life as a substitute for another. In Jesus’ case, God became man clothing himself with humanity’s flesh and blood. He took on mankind’s skin.
What this means is that everything he did he did so for you and I. As he worked, played, prayed, taught, and served others, he did so as our substitute and for our sake. For example, His obedience toward our heavenly Father’s Will He did for our sake. The faith he exercised, he did so for you and I. The love he shared with others, he did so for you and I. Ultimately, even his death he did for you and I. Everything he did, he did so as humanity’s substitute before the eyes of our Heavenly Father.
So now when our heavenly Father looks at you and I, He does so through the prism of Jesus’ life. It is not solely our obedience or faith he sees, but the obedience and faith of Jesus Christ. Even when we pray, Jesus being our High Priest, takes those prayers before His Father who hears them through the words of Jesus himself. Again, it is not our righteousness that the Father witnesses, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ that He sees.
Jesus Christ lived the vicarious life for you and I. Everything he did, he did so you and I can participate through Him with the Triune God in their eternal plan for mankind. C.S. Lewis called it the great dance. Two beings, one leading and the other following to the rhythm of the music around life’s dance floor; life the way God originally created it to be. And we don’t have to be expert dancers to enjoy the journey. For He made it all possible. This is why we are thankful for the vicarious life Jesus lived for you and I.
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