Some time ago, I took up swimming as exercise. Swimming, like other athletic activities increases one's need for oxygen. Normally, breathing is a very natural and even subconscious event that we do not even think about. But not with swimming. In swimming, the first thing that I had to learn what was called the "exchange" -- learning how to exchange air and yet not drown. Pretty important!
Flailing for Help...or Blue Lipped and Dead.
You know, concerning our need for a savior, we often view ourselves and our sin problem like we were in the vast ocean, desperately trying to hang on, arms flailing and gasping for air. Then we see our Savior, Jesus, throw us a life-saving floating device and pull us safely to shore, just-in-time. Then, we walk off together arm in arm.
However, the Bible teaches that we were not desperately trying to hang on. We were not gasping for air. We were not flailing our arms. The Bible states, "You were dead in your trespasses and sins.” A more accurate picture would be our cold, lifeless body lying at the bottom of the ocean, under the immense weight and doom of those heavy waters. Blue lips…no movement…hopeless…
This more accurate picture includes Jesus plunging deep into the oceans darkness. The weight of water upon him was excruciating. The mounting pressure of a mile-deep blanket of heavy water snapped His ear drums. The ears that had heard from God at all times, now were rendered useless. “Why have you forsaken me?” Now, alone in the cold darkness of the depths, He grabs our dead body and brings us to the sandy shore.
Behold: The Great Exchange.
Racked with pain from the decent, He proceeds to pour His breath into our waterlogged lungs. He pushes out his last breath and dies. He, who was alive, now lies dead. However, I, who was dead, now am alive. Behold: The Great Exchange.
I think we need to consider the reality of our human condition apart from Christ. I want to consider His painful sacrifice as He gave it all in exchange for our souls. On the cross, His body was broken under the just penalty of God's wrath. The great exchange took place.
2nd Corinthians 5:21 says, "God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God, in Him."
The sin of those who would believe was laid on Jesus. The righteousness of Jesus was given to those who believe. The great exchange.
Great Exchange; Great Cost
Jesus saw our lifeless and cold body. He exchanged His life for ours. The life of the Son of God came to an end and my blue-lipped-body started to gain it’s long forgotten color. With His last breath, He died. With His last breath, we live.
However, Jesus did not stay dead. Jesus rose again from the dead. He stood up on that sandy shore, alive and well, claiming victory forevermore. And now, we await his return. And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”
Come Lord Jesus come.