One of the beautiful things about the New Testament is that it begins with the story of Jesus in each of the four gospels, then it continues with lots of theological commentary about Jesus’s life, ministry, death, and resurrection. The apostle Paul wrote much to help us understand the good news of Jesus; and one of the shortest, most powerful statements comes in his second letter to the Corinthians.
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 (NLT)
Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Notice the root of Paul’s argument is the crucifixion of Jesus, “Christ has died for all.”
Also notice the implication of Jesus’ death: even as he did not live for himself but died for us, so we no longer live for ourselves either. How are you living for others rather than for yourself?
Paul then makes a “therefore” argument based on the evidence that has come before. “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.” What does this mean? When are you tempted to see people through merely human eyes as opposed to seeing them the way God sees them? How is God’s vision different from ours?
The climax of this good news is found in verse 17, “…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.” How have you experienced this new creation through your life in Christ? How have you seen God’s work of creating anew in the lives of other people?
Remember, this new creation is bigger than any one of us. What would it mean for us to participate in God’s re-creating of the entire world?
God of this new day, who in Christ is making all things new, thank you for not forgetting about us! We want to be remade also; we want to be born again. Merciful Father, by the power of your Spirit, let us tap into the good news of the resurrection of your Son, Jesus, so that we may be your new creation, a sign of your goodness for the whole world. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.