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21 For God made[a] the only one who did not know sin to become sin for us,[b] so that we who did not know righteousness might become the righteousness of God through our union with him.[c]

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Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:21 The Greek word Paul uses is poieō, a verb that, when nominalized, is poiema (poem, or poetry). Christ is God’s poetic masterpiece who became the glorious sacrifice for sin. Though disturbing to the eyes of man, God saw the work of redemption culminated in the masterful poetry of his Son suspended on a cross to give us heaven’s righteousness. Read Isa. 52:10-53:12.
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:21 Or “the sin offering.” See Ex. 29:14; Lev. 4:3; Num. 8:8; Eph. 5:2.
  3. 2 Corinthians 5:21 This one verse is perhaps the greatest verse in the New Testament to describe our salvation through the sinless Savior and his substitutionary death on the cross. A wonderful divine exchange took place at the cross. All of our sins were left there, our guilt was removed and forever gone, and we walked away with all of God’s righteousness. What bliss is ours! Every believer today possesses the perfect and complete righteousness of Christ. We are seen by the Father as righteous as his Son.