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2 Corinthians 5:21

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2 Corinthians 5:21, ‘For our sake, [God] made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God.’

The union of Christ and His Bride lies at the heart of the Gospel. We see that here in this text. Why is Christ ‘made sin’? Because He chooses in the freedom of love and from His own harmonious agreement to the will of the Father, to bind Himself to a sinful, wrath-deserving people. And why do we become the Righteousness of God? Because we are graciously bound to, united with, hidden in, the Righteous One by the eternal covenant bond of which marriage itself is a dim, temporal shadow.

We see a picture of this even in human marriage. If a king marries a prostitute from the streets, what happens to the prostitute? She becomes the queen…and more than that, the honor, the wealth, the home, the very Name of the king are now bestowed on her as well. What is his becomes hers. But simultaneously, what of the many debts she accrued in the course of her former life? Well, they are now paid out of the royal treasury (indeed, whatever debts she owed were ultimately to the king himself, and so by his absorption of them, he ‘pays’ for them). What is hers becomes his.

The same is true for the union of Christ and His Bride. Because He chooses to bind a ‘wife of whoredom’ (Hosea 1:2) to Himself, Jesus receives into Himself Her sin, shame, suffering, abandonment, death, curse, and finally, the very damnation that She deserves. On the cross, what is Hers becomes His. But that is not all we can say. By this same union, the ‘wife of whoredom’ is made a virgin Bride by the purity of Her Groom (Jer.31:4, c.f., Jer.3:1-3). His wealth, His wisdom, His might, His honor, His glory, His blessing, His own righteousness—these truly become Hers through the nuptial embrace of YHWH’s covenant love in Christ. With the resurrection, what is His becomes Hers.

The crown of our curse is beat into the brow of the Lord and the crown of His righteousness is placed on the head of the Bride for one and the same reason: ‘…the two shall become one flesh…and I am speaking about Christ and the Church.’ (Eph.5:31-32).