God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. —2 Corinthians 5:21
As children we learn about trading: a peanut butter sandwich for a tuna, or a better spot in line at recess for a saved seat on the bus. This important skill helps us as we grow up and begin making purchases or considering career changes. The rule of thumb: always trade up. Let go of one thing for something of greater value to you. In a fair trade, each person is happy with the result.
When we trade guilt and shame of past mistakes for forgiveness, everyone wins. We feel cleansed, set free, joyful. At the same time, God delights in our willingness to give up the burden He wants to carry for us anyway. His son died to make it possible. He wants us to trade up!
While it may seem to us that we get the better end of this deal, the Lord is very pleased with the exchange. In the words of Evelyn Christenson, "The most important exchange of all takes place when God takes our guilt and replaces it with His forgiveness, His cleansing."
Lord, I will willingly offer my burden of guilt to You in exchange for Your sweet forgiveness.