Jesus became like us – he became one of us – so he could stand in our place and provides us with the gift of salvation. Through his death and resurrection he demonstrates that sin and death have been conquered. In him we now have the promise and guarantee of eternal lie.
The 5th chapter of 2nd Corinthians helps us see ourselves as God sees those who have accepted the work of Jesus. The old is gone – the new has come.
Read 2 Corinthians 5 verses 14-21.
• This week I came across a child’s definition of a caterpillar?
A worm in a fur coat
Ill: • A Caterpillar is a prickly, lazy self-centered bug. It works hard to go no-where fast. It is confined to a small geographical area and spends its life very earth bound, eating leaves and avoiding birds!
• Little boys love to quash them.
• Little girls run away with an irritating shriek to their voice.
• Yet something unusual happens to this creature, doesn’t it.
• At some point it molts and a thick film covers the caterpillar and it entombs itself in its own flesh.
• This outer coating is called the Chrysalis and a chemical reaction takes place that changes the physical make-up of the creature. The caterpillar actually turns into a liquid form and the cells are programmed to turn into something else.
• You can soon see an emerging butterfly within the cocoon.
• And when the time is right it breaks free of its cocoon, the wing are filled with blood and dry out and soon this new creature spreads it’s wings and flies off.
The old life as a caterpillar has finished and it’s new life as a butterfly has just began.
This process in the realm of insects has some obvious parallels to Easter. Jesus died to sin – to the sphere where sin is – was entombed – and broke out of that tomb in a new body – having conqueror sin and death.
There are parallels for us. Something happens when we become Christians, or as Paul put it in our text this morning, when we are “In Christ.” There has been a radical change in how God views us and how our lives change.
Old things are passed away – and behold new things have come.
As a caterpillar you are really nothing more that bird bait. But this old caterpillar life - prickly, lazy self-centered, going no-where fast life can be abandoned and replaced by a new butterfly type life;
You can fly to new heights and have limitless potential for changing your surroundings.
The new life we can experience and enjoy comes from the life of the man named Jesus whose life changed everything.
So what is it that Jesus did? What he did is really a package of three very important truths.
1 Corinthians 15:1–5
1–2 15 Friends, let me go over the good news one final time— this Message that I proclaimed and that you made your own . . . and by which your life has been saved. For I told you what was most important - that Christ died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says he would be.
Christ died to Pay Sins Debt
We should really be asking then, “What is sin? What is the problem?”
There are two phrases in the passage that we just read that capture the essence of what it means to sin or be a sinner.
. . . that we might no longer live for ourselves – like Dr Phil would say, “and how’s that working for you?”
Our sin is walking independently from God. It will bring a break between ourselves and a holy God. And, it will be detrimental to ourselves and to others.
Anger – murder
Lust – adultery
Covet – theft
Gossip – ruination of someone’s character
It is the declaration of God that all of us have sinned.
Honesty on our part leads us to agree with that.
There are wages for sin – consequences when we sin.
The wages of sin is death.
The day you disobey me and attempt to walk independently of me is the day that you will surely die.
Physically – spiritually – relationally
Isaiah says it this way – all we like sheep have gone our own way . . .
So Jesus died for our sins – he died for all. By the shedding of blood our sins can be covered.
He was buried
He Rose Again
Offers new life. Eternal life.
I know longer want to be bird bait! I don’t want to live for myself any longer. I don’t want to live in rebellion to my creator – acting as if he doesn’t exist or that I have a better plan than his.
Hopeless Become hopeful
God’s enemies become his friends
Those separated are brought near
The aimless receive direction
The guilty/shameful are forgiven
Defeated can be victorious
The deal is: You have to choose.
2 Corinthians 5:12–21 (NASB95)
12 We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.
13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you.
14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;
15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,
19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.