Day 4 Read: 2 Corinthians 5:21
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Reflect: What did Jesus take on for us? What was the ultimate purpose?
Consider: To be sin: this expression has led to much discussion among interpreters of 2 Corinthians. What does it mean to say that a person (Christ) became an object (sin)? Is Paul using the abstract noun sin for the concrete noun “sinner”? Surely Paul is not saying that Christ became a sinner, for that contradicts the very next words in this verse. Some understand Paul to be saying that God made Christ to be a “sin offering”. Perhaps the most likely explanation is that Paul is saying that Christ identified in some way with sinful humanity. Barclay says “God identified Christ … with human sin.” One African language has “God caused him to enter the ranks of sinners in our place.…” Another has “God laid the blame for people’s sin on Christ.” Whatever decision seems best for the translator should, if possible, be coordinated with the way in which the other difficult expression is translated, become the righteousness.4
Respond: Read 1 Corinthians 1:30-31. What is the biggest challenge for you regarding how you acknowledge the righteousness you inherit through Christ versus your own talents and abilities? How do you handle praise? Is there an area you tend to take more credit?
4 Roger L. Omanson and John Ellington, A Handbook on Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1993), 107.