On the Cross Jesus Christ accomplished a perfect work for us which is summarised in 3 words: (1) PROPITIATION, (2) REDEMPTION and (3) RECONCILIATION. When He declared: “Tetelestai”= “It is finished, paid in full”, He was saying that He had accomplished all 3 for us.
(1) PROPITIATION is GODWARD, the satisfaction of His justice so He is now free to bless.
(2) REDEMPTION is SIN-WARD, the payment of a ransom releasing us from sin’s hold.
(3) RECONCILIATION is MAN-WARD, the removal of the difference between man and God by an EX-CHANGE. By Propitiation God is able to receive man back. By Redemption man is released from sin so that he can return to God. Now through Reconciliation reunion is acheived by a Great Exchange. It is this total reconciliation that we will consider now in more detail.
Reconcilation is God’s ultimate purpose-to change man’s state of separation from God, reuniting man with God. It is the full restoration made possible by propitiation and redemption. The word is: 'Katalasso'= a change, or exchange bringing two parties into harmony. It means to remove all differences by an exchange (e.g of money or apologies), so that fellowship is fully restored. In human relationships if there are differences, we usually make up by both changing until the difference is removed. Rarely is the change all on one side. If each owns up to their part in the failure, then fellowship is restored. But God is perfect and does not need to change. It’s us who’ve fallen away from God, and so it's us who need to be reconciled to God (not the other way round), so this requires a change on our side, but we are powerless to do it. But God has provided a full RECONCILATION for us in Christ through the Cross-the GREAT EXCHANGE.
2Corinthians 5:17-21: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a New Creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (having received an exchange of new for old). Now all things are of God, who has RECONCILED us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of RECONCILIATION, that is, that God was in Christ RECONCILING the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of RECONCILIATION. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be RECONCILED to God. For He made Him who knew no sin (i.e. He was fully RIGHTEOUS) to be SIN for us, that we might become the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in Him.”
The basis of our new life in Christ (v17) is the RECONCILIATION (Great Exchange) provided by God through Christ’s work on the Cross. When we hear and receive the word of this reconciliation (the Gospel), we receive this reconciliation (Great Exchange) and as a result we are reconciled to God (v18-20). The primary RECONCILIATION accomplished in Christ (in His Blood) was the EXCHANGE of His RIGHTEOUSNESS for our SIN (v21). From this comes all the blessings of the New Creation (v17).
*Reconciliation (Exchange) 1: RIGHTEOUSNESS for SIN. By means of this first exchange the Lord becomes our RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jehovah Tsidkenu).
There can be no relationship between sin (us) and Righteousness (God), so in order to be brought to God, our state must be changed from sin to righteousness. In the Blood our sin was exchanged with Christ's Righteousness: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God IN HIM.” He was made sin with my sinfulness that I might be made righteous with His righteousness. This transaction was done IN CHRIST, by IMPUTATION (a gift put to our account, v19). Our sins were imputed to Christ and His righteousness imputed to us. In the first 3 hours on the Cross, Christ as a Sweet-Smelling (Burnt) Offering to God released His righteousness to us (Eph 5:2). Then in the dark 3 hours, as a Sin Offering He took all our sin upon Himself. When we receive this transaction we were put baptised INTO CHRIST and His finished work was applied to us (Isaiah 61:10).
*Exchange 2: FORGIVENESS and JUSTIFICATION for CONDEMNATION.
By means of this exchange the Lord becomes our PEACE (Jehovah Shalom).
“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our PEACE (SHALOM) was upon Him” (Isaiah 53:5).
“Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1Peter 3:18).
Since He bore our sin, He also bore the just punishmement (condemnation) it deserved. He was punished so that we might be FORGIVEN. Moreover on the basis of His imputed righteousness, we are JUSTIFIED (declared righteous) by God, rather than being CONDEMNED. He exchanged His forgiveness and justification for our condemnation. Justification means we are fully reconciled to God, and so have PEACE with God with full access to His gracious provision for every area of our life (SHALOM) - see Romans 5:1,2). Thus on the basis of our justification, He now saves us by His LIFE which also comes from the Great.Exchange:
“For if when we were enemies we were RECONCILED to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been RECONCILED we shall be saved by (in) His Life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the RECONCILIATION (the Great Exchange)” (Romans 5:10-11)
*Exchange 3: Being under GOD’S KINGDOM for being under satan’s dominion By means of this exchange the Lord is our SHEPHERD (Jehovah ROHI).
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way (we were lost); and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all... you have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (Isa 53:6, 1Pet 2:25). Jesus came under the power of darkness so that we might come under His authority.
*Exchange 4: BLESSING for CURSE, LIFE for DEATH.
By means of this exchange the Lord is my VICTORY (Jehovah Nissi) over all the curse of sin (including death and all the power of satan). Jesus was made a curse for us, that we might receive the blessing. He died my death so that I might share His Life: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having BECOME a CURSE for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the BLESSING of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13,14). Our death (curse) is exchanged for His life (blessing).
*Exchange 5: A NEW MAN for the OLD MAN. By means of this exchange the Lord is our Sanctifier (Jehovah McKeddesh). On the Cross Jesus took our Old Man, so that we could become a New Man free from the power of sin (Rom 6:3-11, Eph 4:22-24, Col 3:9,10, 2Cor 5:17). He bore our sins so that we might die to sin and live (receive and walk) in His Holiness (1Peter 2:24).
*Exchange 6: ACCEPTANCE for REJECTION, GLORY for SHAME.
“To give them BEAUTY for ASHES, the OIL of JOY for MOURNING, the GARMENT of PRAISE for the spirit of HEAVINESS, that He might be glorified” (Isa 61:3). The Holy-Spirit within and upon us. By means of this exchange the Lord is our Overflowing PRESENCE (Jehovah Shammah). He endured our rejection (“My God, my God why have you forsaken Me?”) that we might have His acceptance with God. He endured our shame, that we might share His glory.
*Exchange 7: He exchanged His HEALING for my SICKNESS. By means of this exchange the Lord is our HEALER (Jehovah Rophe). “Surely He has borne our griefs (SICKNESSES) and carried our sorrows (PAINS)... and by His stripes we are HEALED” (Isaiah 53:4,5, 1Peter 2:24, Matthew 8:17). Jesus was wounded that I might be healed.
*Exchange 8: RICHES for POVERTY. Jesus endured our poverty so we might share His abundance. By means of this exchange the Lord is our PROVIDER (Jehovah Jireh).
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2Corinthians 8:9)
*He gave us healing in place of sickness:
“ Instead of sickness, health! Instead of poverty, wealth!”