Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Lets Swap!" By Kelli Zaniel

All your children shall be taught by the Lord and great shall be the peace of your children,” (Isaiah 54:13).

Pint-sized voices giggling, tea cups clinking, 5 pairs of feet stomping, bells ringing—those were some of the sounds drifting from my daughter’s overcrowded bedroom. Next, I heard small voices whispering, “I’ll take this one and you take that one, I’ll swap you this one for that one!” Then, the door flung open and the commotion was put on hold as they all sashayed out of the bedroom. I asked my children and their friends what they were doing. With an accomplished look on their faces and eyes gleaming, they replied, “We are swapping toys!” Later, it was decided that swapping toys might not be such a good idea. Someone had aggressively forced an overpriced American Girl doll outfit and fuzzy pink slippers on an oversized one-eyed teddy bear. The Ken doll, who was once very dashing and fully clothed, had not only lost his self-respect and his one true love (Barbie) but his head too! As I explained to the girls that this ritual needed to be discontinued effective immediately, something clicked in my head. I advised them that someone might receive and “uneven swap,” and that person would be very sad.

I thought to myself, Jesus made a very uneven “swap” for us at Calvary’s cross. He, being the perfect sacrifice, “took our sins away by nailing them to the cross,” (Col. 2:14). There on that lonely hill, Jesus, the “visible image of an invisible God” (see Col. 1:15) said, “Do you want to swap with me?” I imagine Jesus saying to us, “If you will only believe in me, love me and commit wholeheartedly to me, I will swap your sin for my righteousness. Jesus was definitely “short-changed” when He “swapped” His righteousness for our sin. He was short-changed but that did not effect how He loved us. He, being man and God all at once, “passed on to us what was most important”—the gift of salvation (See 1 Cor. 15:3). In this uneven exchange, God equipped us so that we could “know” Him, relate to Him and experience Him everyday.

I had my daughter sit down and draw the picture shown above (picture inspired by Rev. Bob Tebow). A cross, a picture of her and the swapping of her sin for God’s righteousness. I explained that like the exchanging of toys, she emptied out an oversized bucket containing all the bad stuff she had ever done or ever will do into Jesus’ perfect and mighty hands. In return He tightly clothed her with all of His goodness, all of His righteousness. She didn’t have to do anything to receive this uneven swap…it was free. It was as if she gave Jesus a dirty old rag and in return He gave her the most beautiful princess gown she could ever imagine! Why? Because Romans 3:24 tells us, “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous.” God gave Jesus the ultimate assignment which was to “die for our sin,” (1 Cor. 15:3). That way when God looks at us, he no longer sees the stain of our sin but Jesus’ glistening love shining in and through us!

God, the Bible says your thoughts are precious about me (see ps. 139:17) and my prayers are like incense before you (see Rev. 5:8). You are with me at all times (Ps. 139:18). You promise that you will “always go ahead of me,” never abandon me or forsake me (see Deut. 31:6). Search me Lord and know my heart. Thank you for your, "overflowing redemption,"(Ps. 131:7). Please speak through me as I teach my children about your undeniable love for them.

1 comment:

  1. It blows me away that God would do a swap for us like that! No matter what, it seems like I'm getting the better end of the deal. All my sins are wiped clean. God lives in me and through me every second of the day. He empowers my thoughts and actions. God is the one who gives me strength and comfort and peace... the list goes on and on... What can I give Him? Just me. That is enough and God is OK, with that swap. Truly amazing!