Growing up did your parents ever give
you a left shoe as a present and tell you by the way if
you're good, next year we'll go ahead and give you the
right shoe to go with it? No, you've never experienced
that. The reason you've never experienced this is because
generally one shoe with out the other is worthless; they
belong together don't they?
Reconciliation is bringing two things together that are
separated. Two things that belong together are not supposed
to be apart. Those things are reconciled when they're
brought back together. Left and right shoes aren't the only
things that belong together.
Man and God belong together also. David once said, as a
deer pants for water, so my soul longs for thee oh God
(Psalm 42:1). Solomon his son said God you have made us
with eternity in our hearts. Man is made for fellowship
with God. There has never been a time in the history nor
never will be a time when there will be more atheists in
this world than there will be God fearers and God
believers. Not that everybody will believe in God the way
they should but God has made us so that we realize there is
this infinite need for fellowship with him.
But sin has become a barrier to that fellowship. Romans
3:23, all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory.
Romans 6:23, the wages of sin is death. Remember that word,
death? It just means separation. It's a terrible
separation. But God solved all of these problems created by
our sin in one fell swoop. Ironically he solved them on an
instrument of capital punishment, a Roman cross. God made
it possible for us to be holy but our sin destroys that
holiness leaving us with the following consequences:
1. Our separation leaves us indebted to God. God
solved that at the cross by atoning for our sins. He paid a
debt for us that we are unable to pay for ourselves. The
concept of atonement is wrapped up in 2 Corinthians 5:21,
"God made him who had no sin to be sin" for our sakes.
2. Our sin evokes God's punishment and wrath. God
says, I'll take care of that! At the cross I'm going to
give you propitiation. That big word just means to turn
away wrath, to deflect it. The Bible says, 1 John 2:2 that
Jesus Christ is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for
our sin, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the
3. Our sin leaves us unworthy to approach God. God
says I'll take care of that! "Much more then, having now
been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath
through Him" (Romans 5:9). Do you realize all those things
occurred at the cross? Did you ever stop to think about
that? The huge debt that you can not pay is taken care of.
The wrath that's coming our way from God because of our
sins will be deflected by God's shield. The fact that we
would have to cower as a slave, as an insect, in the
presence of God has been removed. God says, I'm going to
justify you, allow you proper standing in my presence. Did
you realize that all of that was taken care of at the
You need to understand the importance of the cross. Paul
said in Galatians 6:14, "Far be it for me to glory in
anything save in the cross of my Lord Jesus Christ." Paul
did not glory in his past, in his writings or in his good
works. He did not even glory in the other parts of Jesus'
life. He did not glory in the virgin birth. He believed it,
but he didn't glory in it. He didn't glory in the
teachings. He didn't glory in the miracles. He didn't even
say he gloried in the resurrection. He said the reason I
gloried is because of the cross, because of all that was
done right there.
4. Our sin destroyed our relationship with God. At
the cross, God made it possible for man to reconciled
himself to God through trust and obedience. He put two
things back together that were separated that never should
have been apart. "by Him to reconcile all things to
Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in
heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross"
(Colossians 1:20). "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 His life. Not
only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord
Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the
reconciliation" (Romans 5:10,11).
In writing to the Christians in Corinth Paul said "Now all
things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through
Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of
reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18). There are two very,
very important applications of this reconciliation!
1. God is the
reconciler and we are the reconcilee. God did all
the work. He reconciled us to him even though he never
moved. He's not the one who sinned. He didn't get mad. He
has been where he's always been. We're the ones who've
wandered off. But he reconciled all things to himself by
the cross of Jesus Christ. We sinned. We went away. We
hardened our hearts. We made our excuses. We became
callous. God is doing the calling and searching. He found
us in our pitiful condition pleading with us to come home.
But we must recognize him and hear his call. "And being
found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became
obedient to the point of death, even the death of the
cross" (Philippians 2:8). What could be more reconciling
than God putting on flesh, living among us, suffering at
our hands? He allow himself to be fully tempted and fully
victimized, that wasn't easy, letting that proud, pompous,
self-righteous, know-it-all crowd nail him to a cross in
the name of the religion that he had given them. Then while
dying on that cross saying, "Father forgive them for they
don't know what they're doing."
The point is, God did all the things he had to do in such a
way that we would look at that cross and say, oh how much
he must love us. Let's don't be guilty of looking at John
3:16 and reciting it so flippantly. "For God so loved the
world that he gave his only begotten Son." "For God so
loved the world that he gave (and he gave) his only
begotten Son." We look at that and I say to myself, my how
he must want me back. How the Father must want me to live
in Heaven. And if you've never looked at it that way
before, if you've never thought of the cross in that light,
think of it that way and be drawn to that cross. That's why
Jesus said, if I be lifted up, I'll draw all men to myself.
That's reconciliation, God did it.
2. He's given to
us the ministry of reconciliation. God is leading
the reconciliation charge. God is the loving Father in Luke
15, who when he sees that boy a long way off he runs to him
and embrace him. When a person does that and sees God in
the person of the Son, Jesus on the cross, and believes
him, turns away from the life currently living and is
baptized by the authority of Jesus, their sins are washed
away and the Spirit of God go to work changing them. "The
love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy
Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5:5). Say to the world,
look God came after you, look what he's done for you. God
is patiently waiting not wanting that any should perish.
Reconciliation is one of the most beautiful words.Amazing Grace # 1068 Steve