Usually when we think of reconciliation we think of relationships and more specifically relationships between husbands and wives. Unfortunately, we often don’t hear the positive stories of reconciliation between husbands and wives but we usually hear the negative stories.
Whenever we hear that someone is getting divorced, it is stated that it is for “irreconcilable differences.” Irreconcilable differences – that means they believe there is nothing that is going to happen that will being them back together – it is over for good. That word irreconcilable is so sad but often it is many people’s reality.
Now the reconciliation that I want to share about in this post is not between people but between God and people. You see, there is enmity between God and us (because of our sin). Isaiah 59:1-2 states: “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
Can you imagine if God was like us and claimed irreconcilable differences between us? That is not a pleasant thought! Yet the gospel proclaims how God has taken the initiative to reconcile us back to Himself. We should note this fine distinction. God is not reconciled to us, as though He were partly to blame, for the enmity. Rather, we are reconciled to God, for it is we who moved away from God!
When people need to be reconciled to one another, it normally involves a situation where fault lies on both sides to some degree. This was not the case between us and God; we have moved away from God, and it is we who need to be reconciled back to God, not God back to us!
This reconciliation is only made possible because of the initiatives that God took first! It is only made possible through Jesus Christ, in particular, His death for our sins! Reconciliation comes through Jesus and Jesus alone (2 Corinthians 5:18a; Colossians 1:19-20a). Reconciliation comes through Jesus’ death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 1:20b-22a).
In other words, God took Christ, who knew no sin, to represent our sin and receive the punishment due for sin in His death on the cross. God did this, so that we, who were His enemies, alienated from Him by or sins, might be reconciled back to Him!
The truth is: God was under no obligation to do this! He could have rightfully left us to die in our sins but He didn’t! He chose to love us despite our sin and send His Son to die so that we could be reconciled back to Him.
God’s love for us is great and and He has gone to great measures to reconcile us back to Himself!
I am so thankful that God took the initiative to reconcile us back to Him!
I am so thankful that God did not claim irreconcilable differences between us!
The challenge is to live our lives in light of this incredible reconciliation that we have received.
Recommended reading: The Grace of God by Andy Stanley
***** This post is part of the blog carnival on “Reconciliation” that is taking place over at Bridget Chumbley’s blog.