For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.2 Corinthians 5:21–6:1
Growing up and going to public schools, we had two options for lunch. One was “hot lunch,” where you paid for a lunch ticket for the week and the lunch lady would hole punch or stamp it each day and you would grab a tray with little compartments where other lunch ladies would plop scoops of food without them touching (usually.) The only other option besides hot lunch was “sack lunch;” where you would bring a lunch packed from home.
A big deal back in the day was a hard shell lunch box, themed with your favorite cartoon or sports hero. In elementary school, I had a metal Snoopy lunch box and thermos for when we couldn’t afford hot lunch. It was shaped like Snoopy’s dog house and the top housed a thermos to keep a drink semi-cold during the day.
I vividly remember one school field trip to an attraction park for little kids called the Enchanted Forest; my mom had packed my lunchbox as we were going to spend the day there as a class. I should tell you that I had four older sisters and we would tease each other pretty mercilessly when we were at home. So I would do the same thing to other girls at school and this field trip was no different. In fact, one girl came close to tears because of something I said that morning that I swore was “just a joke.” When it was time for lunch, we got our lunchboxes off the bus and went to the picnic area to eat as fast as we could to get back to the action. My lunch was almost always the same back in the day; boloney sandwich, bag of chips, and some snack or dessert depending on what we had or what we could afford. Well, that week we couldn’t afford much because my mom packed celery sticks. And I really dislike celery sticks. In fact, I exclaimed my disgust loud enough for many of my classmates to hear. Much to my surprise, I heard a small voice behind my say, “want to trade for my Twinkies?” It was the girl I had teased all morning. I was dumbfounded. How could she make such a life-altering sacrifice, a two-pack of Twinkies, for someone that treated her so poorly and didn’t deserve it? It wasn’t more than a minute later that a buddy of mine was lamenting his carrot sticks. You know what I did? I gave him one of my Twinkies!
Friend, that is what today’s scripture is all about. Jesus made the most unbelievable trade in the history of the Universe; his perfection for our sin so we could become the righteousness of God. And so the Apostle Paul and God are appealing to you and me to not waste it; don’t throw the Twinkies away in the trash or just keep them for ourselves. This grace of God, that you and I didn’t deserve, is a gift to be treasured and shared. Thank him for his grace and share it today!
Questions to ponder
What was/is your favorite snack or dessert that you can pack in a sack lunch?
What was a time that someone shared something with you when you didn’t deserve it?
How can remembering God’s grace to you- that Jesus died in your place- fuel a life of thankfulness today and this week? How will you live differently?