Written by: Tim Wood

Of course, the best news comes from Scripture in just 24 words in the English language.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV).

The same verse in the Amplified version reads:

For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become (endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness] (Amplified Version).

The famous preacher Charles Spurgeon called this the heart of the gospel: the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ:

“The Lord God laid upon Jesus, who voluntarily undertook it, all the weight of human sin. Instead of its resting on the sinner, who did commit it, it was made to rest upon Christ, who did not commit it … Christ was not guilty, and could not be made guilty; but he was treated as if he were guilty, because he willed to stand in the place of the guilty …As Christ was made sin, and yet never sinned, so are we made righteousness, though we cannot claim to have been righteous in and of ourselves. Sinners though we be, and forced to confess it with grief, yet the Lord doth cover us so completely with the righteousness of Christ, that only his righteousness is seen, and we are made the righteousness of God in him. This is true of all the saints, even of as many as believe on his name.”

The greatest exchange in all of history is this: Jesus took our sin so that we could take his righteousness. Jesus was condemned so that we could be justified. Jesus bore our sin so that we might be set free. Jesus died that we might live!

This is the righteousness that protects our heart. This is the righteousness that we wear as a breastplate. In Christ, we become the righteousness of God.

Memorize this verse. Say it over and over in your mind. Speak it to yourself. Preach it to your soul. This is the Gospel. If you are trusting Christ as your Lord and Savior, this is the truth about you: For your sake, Jesus took your sin so that we could take his righteousness. That’s great news!