In the book A Glimpse Into God's Heart that we are reading for my Grad Bible class the author makes this statement:
"Justification means that Jesus was treated 'just as if' He had lived my life, so that I can be treated 'just as if' I had lived His life." (K. Brothers, 2006).
This is one of the most powerfully simple things I have ever read. I must admit that my spiritual life is not as strong as it should be. My faith goes through its struggles time and again and I know that I am not the Christian young woman I should and can be. Justification is a word I have heard many times in my life but honestly it is one I never understood before.
This one sentence has opened up the entire concept for me. Because there is only light in God, sin is His enemy. I am a human being and I have thoughts and feelings and choices to make and I know I have sinned just as everyone sins (Romans 3:23). When I sin, I go against the Promise I have made to Him to be faithful and I become an enemy of God. Just like a Judge punishes a criminal, God is a Just King and will punish me for my sins--just as I deserve. However, God is also a Loving God and He and it is not in His will for any of us to perish (2 Peter 3:9). This is where Christ comes in.
Dr. Brothers mentions a story about a king that decides to punish thieves by taking out two eyes. When his son is caught stealing, he knows he cannot go against the law but he also doesn't want his son to suffer blindness forever. He is a just king because he only takes one of his son's eyes. He is a loving king because he gives up one of his eyes for his son. God paid the ultimate price for us in that he gave up His own son to save us. He gave up both eyes in order for us to no longer be His enemy.
Back to the statement above. Christ took on my life so that He could save me. I know what I have done in my life and it hasn't always been pretty. I have made a lot of mistakes and gone down paths that were not befitting for Christ to walk down. After reading that sentence, I feel more ashamed know of the choices I have made than ever before. Can you imagine Christ standing your place during all of the bad decisions you've made? If you don't believe in God, can you imagine a person in your life that you know to be so wholesome and good standing in your place through your worst?
Whether we are a Christians or not, shouldn't that be enough to make us want to change? I want to live a life that is worthy of Christ(or whoever) to walk in--a life that parallels the one He gave us in return for His death on the cross. Christ took "what we deserved so that we can receive what He deserves" (pg. 70). If we had to swap places, wouldn't you want to give your loved one a life that is good?
I'll end this post with another story from the book:
[A man] visited an elderly woman badly crippled by arthritis. [He] asked her, "Do you suffer much?"
"Yes, but there is no nail here," she responded as she pointed to her hand. "He had the nails, I have the peace." She then pointed to her head. "There are no thorns here. He had the thorns, I have the peace." She touched her side and said, "There is no spear here. He had the spear, I have the peace" (pg. 70).
Christ suffered for me, so I could have peace. The least I can do is live a life that is worthy of that peace.