“Made Righteous” by Katie Taylor
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2nd Corinthians 5:21 NIV)
Take a moment and picture the righteousness of a Holy, Perfect and Loving God. Is this how you would describe yourself? As believers, Paul says we are “now hidden with Christ” (Colossians 3:3), and when God looks at us, this is what He sees. Jesus not only took our sins on the cross; He exchanged them for His perfect righteousness. He took our old yucky clothes and gave us white robes of righteousness and crowned our heads with jewels in an act of amazing, unfathomable grace. Wow! How on earth do we respond to this?
I am often a bit puzzled at how we celebrate the resurrection as a culture. We fast for 40 days during Lent, which is a great and powerful way to lean into our Creator and prepare our hearts for the cross. Then Easter comes on a beautiful Sunday morning and is gone the next day as life seems to return to normal. Wait a minute! A man rose from the dead and brought us into new and eternal life all through the amazing love of the One who sent His perfect Son to die for us, defeat sin and death forever and reunite us with our Perfect Father in heaven. “It is finished.” (John 19:30 NIV) These are not just words; they are realities. Shouldn’t we celebrate this for 40 days or more? Shouldn’t we be bursting in joy and praise in a way that makes those who don’t know Him wonder what in the world we are so wild about? …”Giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:12:14 NIV)
As believers, Easter is a time when we have much to celebrate. And the resurrection is far bigger than a calendar event: it is the basis of a new identity and reality graciously made available to us every day now through eternity. Take and moment today and join us in reflecting on what we receive in light of the resurrection of Christ…His righteousness, a new life, a new heart, a new spirit, a new mind, a new hope, a new future, a new self, a new purpose, a new Father and a new family of sons and daughters of the High King.
“…just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4 NIV)
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old is gone, the new has come.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17 NIV).
We have been given a completely new identity, not based on what we have done, but what He has done. It’s not based on our record of wrongs, but His perfect righteousness. Shouldn’t we need to add something to the equation to gain this status? No. We can’t add one thing to the cross! This is not about us, it’s about Him, and it’s in our surrender to His perfect love that we are made new. It’s a love we could never be good enough to earn or bad enough to lose.
“But now HE has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-” (Colossians 1:22 NIV)
I’ll never forget the moment I first believed during a prayer of faith, confession and true repentance for sins I once imagined unforgivable and that had left me broken beyond repair. I pictured my sins and pictured Jesus suffering on the cross and taking the punishment for them. It was then, at age 30, that He opened my eyes to His truth…that He died for me, that He loved me that much, that He was crushed for my iniquities and that by His wounds I am healed…that I matter deeply to the Creator of the world. I went from dead inside to alive, and became a new person, radiant with joy. Once wretched, now righteous. All because of Jesus and His love for me. For me!
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20 NLT)
And now, in light of the resurrection, we can remind ourselves daily who God says we are, believe it, and walk in our new identities out of the overflow of love and righteousness He has given us for eternity.
This is worth a crazy celebration! Happy Easter!
Thank You Father for Your amazing love for us. Thank You that You loved us enough to enter our world with flesh, suffer and die for us so that we may have new life. Thank You for loving us with a perfect, unchanging, unfailing love that does not depend on us, but on You. Thank You for not leaving us as we were, but rescuing us through your Son Jesus Christ. With humble hearts, we praise You for calling us out of darkness and into Your wonderful light. We praise You for adopting us as Your beloved sons and daughters and making us righteous through the blood of Jesus.
How does God see you? Look in Scripture. Take a moment to ask Him. And listen.
Describe how Christ has made you a new creation through the cross and resurrection.
“God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and freed us from sin.” (1st Corinthians 1:30 NLT)
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27 NIV)
“And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgement, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.” (1 John 4:17 NLT)
Faith in Action
This week when struggles come up and thoughts enter your mind that challenge who God says you are, remember that He has made you pure and that Christ is in you. As Jesus is, so are you in this world. However He would handle what’s in front of you, so can you because He is in you. Fix your eyes on Him and walk in your new identity of righteousness made possible by the cross.
And celebrate the resurrection in a way that makes people ask questions!
Author: Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor has a contagious love of Jesus and passion for reaching others for Him. Four years ago, the gospel transformed her heart in a powerful way and the abundant life since has been nothing short of a wild adventure. Katie’s prayer is for people in our city to know the hope they have in Christ no matter who they are or where they have been. She is the wife of Will Taylor and blessed mama of three young children. The Taylors are active members at Rivertree Church, and Katie serves in various roles at Choose Life and Lincoln Village Ministries. She loves to write and you can connect with her on her blog thefirstdayofspring.net.