2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) – For our sake he made him to be sin who knew sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
This verse is often referred to as an example of the theological term ‘double imputation’. Put simply, the sin of believers is imputed (given or attributed) to Jesus, AND His righteousness is imputed to believers. On the cross, Jesus was the possessor of our sin, and through faith, we become possessors of His righteousness!
Customarily, Jesus’ crucifixion receives an outsized portion of the Christian’s attention and rightfully so. However, in the latter half of this verse, we are reminded of the significance of His perfect life. His sinless life. His fulfillment-of-the-law life. His absolute-harmony-with-the-Father life. This is the status we now have in the Father’s eyes.
Both something very grand and very personal has taken place.
The phrase “For our sake” opens the verse and affirms that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus were designed and carried out with individual believers in the mind of God. We have been reconciled to Him. We have a relationship with the almighty God, Creator and Lord of the universe.
We have a righteous status. Now, let us pursue righteous living.