Rebels turned Ambassadors

He bore the sin of rebels.

He bore our sin.

He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord ’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord ’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.
Isaiah 53:3‭-‬12 NLT

We were those rebels, now we are His ambassadors, pleading with the world, “Come back to God!”

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17‭-‬21 NLT

Spurgeon has some revealing thoughts on rebellion that I found here this morning:

And I found what I thought was a great perspective this morning in this link:

Some of you will object to my saying this, but it is my opinion that in Christianity we have over-emphasized the psychology of the lost sinner’s condition. We spend time describing the sinner’s woes and the great burden he carries until we almost forget the principal fact that the sinner is actually a rebel against properly constituted authority! That is what makes sin SIN! We are rebels; we are sons of disobedience. Sin is the breaking of the Law, and we are fugitives from the just laws of God while we are sinners. We are fugitives from divine judgment. But thankfully, the plan of salvation reverses that and restores the original relationship so that the first thing the returning sinner does is confess, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in Thy sight, and I am no more worthy to be called Thy son. Make me as one of Thy hired servants!” Thus, in repentance, we reverse that relationship and we fully submit to the Word of God and the will of God as obedient children!

It is in our recognizing our prodigal state and in our returning to God, hoping to be servants, that we find that He calls us believed sons. It is when we find that there is no good in us at all outside of Christ that we have spiritual eyes to see the truth about ourselves — not so that we can set our eyes upon the sin of the world and wonder at their destruction, but that we can tremble at the weight of our own sin but be comforted and reassured that He is faithful to forgive even us, chief among sinners, as Paul considered himself.

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
1 Timothy 1:15‭-‬16 NLT

Do you consider yourself chief amongst sinners? Or do you consider yourself worthy by your own works?

Beware the leaven:

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer : ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Luke 18:9‭-‬14 NLT

Lord God Almighty, our glorious Father in Heaven, who had looked down upon His people with grace and mercy in order to bring us into righteousness and holiness through the reconciling Blood of the Lamb, hear our cries. You alone are worthy, Lamb of God, Son of God and Son of man, you who have paid the price so that we might know the truth, so that we might receive and Love the very spirit of God that comes and teaches and guides us in a restored relationship with the One True, living God. We accept not only your forgiveness, loving Savior. But we long for your Lordship, your disciplining and correcting guidance over our whole lives to lead us along the narrow path of bearing our cross daily, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, loving others even our enemies, testifying to our faith in you with our lives not just our words, and loving not pour own lives even unto death. Lead us, oh Lord our God, into all things righteous and holy and true and merciful and mighty in your spirit. Amen.

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