When I was a naive little boy my two older brothers and I were given an electric train for Christmas. My brothers convinced me that I should trade my share of the train to them for a pair of boxing gloves that one of them had received. My parents wanted to nullify the trade and showed me how I had been taken advantage of. I stubbornly insisted that I would stick to the deal. My brothers permitted me to play with their train occasionally. Not as often as a one-third ownership should have gotten. It was a bad trade.
Hebrews 2:11: For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
My Saviour, my Lord and my Brother Jesus has made a great trade with me. It is the most wonderful trade anyone ever heard of. He traded His righteousness to me and I traded my sin to Him.
II Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Evangelist Wil Rice wrote this wonderful devotional entitled: Trading Places.
One of the hardest lessons in life is that there are some things in life that only you can do for yourself. Dad can*t do it for you; Mom can*t do it for you; no one else can do it but you. Some decisions require you alone to make them, and some jobs mandate that you alone can do them. That can be a bitter pill to swallow for a four-year-old...or a forty-year-old!
Strangely enough, sometimes it is more difficult to realize that there are some things we cannot do for ourselves. There are some things in life that must be done and can only be done if someone else does it in our stead. The greatest example of this is eternal life. II Corinthians 5:21 reminds us that God Almighty made Jesus Christ to be sin for us so that we could be made the righteousness of God in him. Christ took our place so that we might take His place!
There is another example of work in someone else*s stead in II Corinthians 5. Just as only Jesus Christ can take our place in the matter of salvation, God has delegated us to take Christ*s place in presenting His salvation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ . . . we pray you in Christ*s stead, be ye reconciled to God. We are delegates (ambassadors) in Christ*s place here on earth because He took our place!
The truth is, God is not going to come down and give the wonderful Good News to your neighbors. The Lord Jesus will not send an angel to announce God*s offer of salvation to your friends. Christ took our place on the cross, and we are to take His place in giving the Good News to the world around us.