The Great Exchange

8.22.23 Devo Image

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”—2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB)

Back in 2015, leading up to the highly-anticipated release of Batman: Arkham Knight, Rocksteady Studios put out an ad campaign that invited us to “Be the Batman.” Sign me up! 

This clever and excitement-inducing campaign works because . . . well, who wouldn’t want to be the Batman? In fact, there’s a funny meme out there that says, “Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman, then always be Batman!” I want to be the Batman! Let’s do this! Hand me the cape, cowl, and utility belt right now. Give me the keys to the Batmobile. But do you know what NO ONE wants to be? Sin. Unlike Batman, why would anyone in their right mind want to become sin, to BE sin? It sounds awful! But guess what? That’s exactly what Jesus did on our behalf. 

The apostle Paul tells us that Jesus, who is perfect, unstained by the deathly effects of sin, took upon Himself all the sin of mankind—past, present, and future. He put it all on like Batman puts on the cape and cowl. He wore it all for us on the cross. In the eyes of God, Jesus was sin in that moment . . . every sin, all the sin of all humanity for all time. And He bore its full weight and full punishment. He endured a brutal, inhumane, torturous death . . . our death; the death we all deserve. And He did this so we could BE the righteousness of God in Him! Peter said it this way: ”For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18 NIV).

And here’s something truly powerful to ponder: Charles Ellicott once wrote, “The “righteousness of God,” as in Romans 3:21–22, expresses not simply the righteousness which He gives, nor that which He requires, though neither of these meanings is excluded, but rather that which belongs to Him as His essential attribute.”

He put on the robe of sin that belonged to us so we could put on robes of righteousness, the robes that belong to Him. He endured our death so we could have eternal life in heaven. He experienced separation from the Father so we could be reconciled to the Father. Jesus Christ became a curse for us so we could become coheirs, children adopted by the Father into His family forever. 

This is how much God loves us . . . these are the lengths God went to in order that we may be restored and experience eternity as we were always meant to. This is the beauty of the gospel, the great exchange Jesus made for us. I don’t know about you, but knowing this just makes the idea of going to heaven that much sweeter. Why? Because I know just how much God wants me to be there! It’s a feeling of belonging that can’t be found anywhere else. 

Pause: Have you ever wanted to BE something? What was it? What did it require doing? Did you become that thing? Christ was sin for us. He wore it and bore it all for you and me. What does this mean to you? How has this knowledge impacted your life?

Practice: Are you burdened for someone who hasn’t accepted Jesus’ invitation to be the righteousness of God? Pray for them today. Consider ways you could show them the overwhelming and all-consuming love of Jesus and help lead them to a relationship with Him. 

Pray: Father, today I pray for ___________, who doesn’t know You yet, who has not believed the gospel and received the redemption Your Son died to give us. May You reveal Yourself to them; may You draw them to salvation. Use me, Lord, to show them the power and beauty of the gospel. Amen.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.