A New Creation: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” Verse 17 is breathtaking. After the transformation that this verse is talking about, a new project begins-the project of reconciliation. Does all of creation change each time a new person becomes a Christ-follower? No. Each person changes, and is transformed to see the world and everything and everyone in a new way. Next comes reconciliation with and to how the world is in God’s reality.

Who can be our enemy in this new world? What is there to fear in this new world? What must be earned when all is God’s gift? What part of this new creation is to be discounted, discarded, or disrespected? When all things are made new by our transformation, we will not be able to think of ourselves more highly than we ought. “From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view”(v 16). No cultural bias, no political perspective can now determine how we relate to this new creation, this transformed way of seeing.

Reconciliation is the work of the transformed and becomes an immediate and continuous ministry (v 18). Our transformation includes our citizenship. As citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, we are ambassadors for Christ, we project Jesus’ views and values, his grace and compassion. This could be embarrassing in some of our old circles. The cause we now stand for is the cause of reconciliation with Christ, and thus with all of creation. This passage of scripture is one of the most political statements imaginable, and it has neither red nor blue bumper stickers to promote its passion.

Could Lent call us to this? Does Christ call us to this? Yes, our new creation includes a new citizenship, a new political and social and cultural understanding unlike anything the old creation can call into being. “From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view.” We read it and our world changes.

Tears flow, the tears of shame for our attachment to the old world, indeed, our enthusiasm for it. Tears flow for how we have disrespected Jesus, often in his name. Tears flow for our selfishness now realized. Tears flow for how we were energized by our blindness. Tears flow for the costly grace that covers us, and for peace sacrificed to fear and greed. Tears flow for names forsaken for labels. For those in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

Lent reminds us that current realities do not negate Jesus’ teachings or transformation. Lent prepares us for accusations of naivetÈ, cowardice, and irresponsibility. With eyes made new by our passage for today, those accusations are seen as insight, courage, and the knowledge that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Enemies are not on the other side of aisles, or borders, or worldviews when seen through these new eyes, nor are they stalking among us. Sharing does not deplete our stores in this new creation-the one we can have now with our own transformation. All things, including our fears, have become new. We now die for enemies. We now risk hunger to share with the hungry. We now, sinners of the same sort as all others, in him “become the righteousness of God” (v 21).

Open our eyes to see that, in Christ, all things have been made new.


A word about the series

The Lenten season has always inspired many people to create everything from poems, art and music to a completely new direction in their lives.  This Lenten season Tabernacle will be exploring many of those creations in the hope of inspiring you to compose in a medium that is natural for you.   The paintings in the Sanctuary are of the Biblical Stations of the Cross.  The artist, Grieg Leach, completed them in 2010.  They will help us to visualize the events leading to the crucifixion of Jesus.  In addition to the paintings there is a Lenten devotional booklet, Return to Me, which is available in print or online.  The Stations of the Cross also inspired these devotions, written by Terry York of Baylor University.   Living with these two bodies of artistic expression based on the Biblical Stations of the Cross throughout the season of Lent should help us as we seek to return our lives to God by walking with Jesus though his final days.

Pray, read, think and return to God.




All scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

Copyright © 2013 Birnamwood Publications (ASCAP)

A division of MorningStar Music Publishers, Inc., St. Louis, MO

All rights reserved.  Printed in U.S.A.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *