by Rev Douglas Brauner
Taking our place.
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
“God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 New English Translation
Even though life is returning to Black Forest, Colorado, after the devastating fire of 2013, a walk through a park is sobering. I remember walking, through Black Forest Regional Park, with one of my sons as he worked on a high school science project several years ago. In those days the pine trees pictured in this photo were full of needles…full of life. Life has been stripped from them, and they now stand as monuments of our human foolishness. The fire could have been prevented, since it was not started by natural forces but by people.
There is nothing that can change the characteristics of these dead trees, other than that they will eventually fall to the ground and decay. However, out of that decay will come life. The kinnikkinnik and native grasses will cover the ground. New pine trees will grow. Animals will return to feed on the new vegetation. A reversal of sorts will happen when life comes out of death.
Lent is about the great reversal of our lives. We experience life because Jesus was intimate with death. Paul speaks of this great reversal in 2 Corinthians. It is a reversal that we cannot understand. The One who didn’t know sin is made to be sin. The One who never stole becomes the thief. The One who never sinned sexually becomes the adulterer. The One who never cursed God becomes the curse. Even though we try to comprehend this fact, our brains cannot.
However, the great reversal doesn’t stop with Jesus becoming sin. Paul goes on to declare the reason Jesus became sin. He became sin so that there might be a great reversal in us. Through Jesus, we who were cursed because of sin are now right with God. We who knew adultery are now right with God. We who knew theft are right with God. The dead trees are alive…and they give life.
Lent is our journey to marvel at this miracle of God’s love for us.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado