THE GREAT EXCHANGE - What if God was one of us

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus,
Tryin' to make his way home? 

- Joan Osborne 'What if God was one of us' 1995

 

No.1 in 4 countries in 1995, Joan Osborne's song has some interesting lyrics. 
It represents the way a log of people would feel about God.

He's up there... I'm down here... God doesn't understand.
If God was one of us - he would understand.
He would know what it's like for me, a regular person trying to make it through in the world. 

Christmas is a time to reflect on the impact Jesus had when he came for us when he did become one of us, and he does understand. 

 

1 Timothy 1:15 Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy - so that in me the worst of sinners Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 

 

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,

Jesus came for us. 
He came to save us. 
He was one of us. 

He walked in our shoes - he loved people and saw great victories - but he also betrayed by one of his own and suffered a brutal death on our behalf. 

He understands us. 
He knows the joys and pain and trials of life - He won the victory of it. 
Let the great exchange take place in your life - your life for his. 
Jesus didn't come just to walk around - he came to set you free! The message of Christmas is that Jesus came for us - and that changes everything. 

 

of whom I am the worst

This is a very humble statement.
He could have said a lot of other things: I've had a few bad days, I didn't know Jesus back then... but He said, of whom I am the worst. 

Sometimes it's hard for us to humble ourselves.
Excuses are more popular than humbleness.
We live in a society that likes to justify what they do.
Everyone wants to justify what they are doing - justifying their sin. 

It's been a tough time for me... God knows what's happening with me... 

But Paul would lift his hand and say - that I am the worst of sinners. Paul owns his sin and accepts Christ's work of redemption. Salvation requires repentance. As long as we justify our own behaviour we cannot receive the redemptive work of Christ. 

The great exchanges requires a humble spirit. We lay down our life, our failures, our sin, our selfishness and we take up the life of Christ - of freedom, relationship and purpose. 

 

But for that very reason I was shown mercy - so that in me the worst of sinners Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life

Mercy is a blessing that is an act of divine favour. 
This Christmas, remember the mercy that has been shown to you. The divine favour that is upon your life. 

The reason Paul can be so bold about his failings, is that he knows what God has already done. In the great exchange, God takes our personal pain, our embarrassing past and turns it around. 

It becomes a testimony, an example of what God can do. If he can do it in my life, he can do it in yours. We can then speak of our failings - because they become a story of how God intervened in our lives. This is the great exchange, the secrets that we hide in silence turn into stories that celebrate Christ. We go from recipients of God's grace to ministers of God's grace.

 

Isaiah 61:3 To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. 

 

3 Reasons Jesus Came

1 Freedom

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burded again by a yoke of slavery. 

Don't go back. 
Take your freedom. 
Live in freedom. 

 

2 Relationship

Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 

Jesus wants a relationship with you. 
Don't just know about Jesus - build a relationship! Go deeper! 

 

3 Purpose

2 Timothy 1:7 He has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 

We have incredible purpose in our lives because of Christ. It's a life worth living.