Read: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21

. . . that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (v. 15 NIV)

“Christ’s love compels us,” constrains us, holds us in a vise. It is a power that masters us. Why? “Because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died” (v. 14). Somehow we went down into death with Christ so that we should live for him. Yet I see in the words of our key verse my greatest temptation—living for myself. And Jesus died for me that I might learn a better way—to live for him who gave himself in love for me. That’s what I deeply want, but it is only by focusing ever afresh on his dying love that I’m able to keep on track.

Paul then explains more of this amazing good news: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (v. 18). Do you resonate with that great word? Reconciliation means the overcoming of distance, the restoration of friendship, being at peace again. That’s the beautiful story of God’s working for us in Christ. He makes it happen and then sends us to share it with others.

Now here is the stunningly powerful rationale for all this: “God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (v. 21). That, friends, is the great and wonderful exchange! —Bill Brownson

Prayer: Lord, may we be so mastered by your dying love that we may passionately share it!