Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
The Gospel Of Reconciliation
Eating fruit does not seem like a high-value crime or a depraved immoral act, but when Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, it created a division between Creator and creation. This enmity was severe, harsh, and real. God cast the man and woman from the garden never to return. It was not long before the heart of man became so wicked the Lord sent a flood to destroy all humanity with the exception of Noah and his family. Wrath and grace are found in the story of the flood but the answer to sin had not been found. After the flood, pride lifted the heart of men, and sin continued. God promised through Abraham a great nation would arise to possess the land of promise. Included in the three-fold promise was a son. Abraham and Sarah realized the final promise in the birth of Isaac when they were beyond childbearing age. Sin continued unabated and there seemed little hope.
Israel became a great nation as the people of God. Through them the world would see the love and mercy of the Lord. It was not long before the hearts of the nation turned to the nations around them following their idolatrous practices. Sin once again destroyed the creation of God and the wrath of the Lord came heavily upon the apple of His eye. A remnant returned from bondage as sin still ruled the affairs of humanity. There was no hope and no answer.
Following a four hundred year famine of revelation, a man from Nazareth appeared among the people of God preaching a gospel of repentance. His message was clear, demonstrative, and powerful. The multitudes were drawn to His teaching and through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus of Nazareth showed Himself to be the Son of God. It was unclear the purpose of the Lord as Jesus told of His death, burial, and resurrection. The disciples could only see a physical kingdom and struggled with the spiritual patterns of God’s will. To their dismay and despair, Jesus was killed on a cross and buried. There was no hope and the world seemed so dark. And then Sunday came.
On the first day of the week, the Son of God rose from the dead changing the course of humanity forever. The eternal plan of redemption would not become clear immediately but as the church became established and disciples were multiplied, the gospel of reconciliation blossomed in the minds and hearts of the people of God. Everything man had tried had failed to bring him happiness and joy. Now in Christ, there was true meaning to life. The wrath of God was removed completely. There was no longer a fear of destruction. For the child of God, joy was the daily expression of reconciliation in Christ. There had taken place a change from enmity to friendship. God had exercised His grace towards sinful man on the ground of the death of Jesus Christ.
W. E. Vine says, “By reason of this men in their sinful condition and alienation from God are invited to be reconciled to Him; that is to say, to change their attitude, and accept the provision God has made, whereby their sins can be remitted and they themselves be justified in His sign in Christ.” The gospel of reconciliation means that God has removed His wrath. Through Jesus Christ, the Father has invited sinful man to dwell in His presence through the cleansing blood of His Son. If a man will come to the Father with a contrite heart, the Lord God will not impute sin upon them. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, there is forgiveness. God will no longer count people’s sins against them. That is the wonderful message of reconciliation found in Jesus Christ. Thank you, God.