God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that
in him we might become the righteousness of God.
—2 Corinthians 5:21
Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, ends with the story of mystery character Sydney Carton. Carton could have passed as a twin of Charles Darnay, who had been sentenced to death. Shortly before Darnay’s execution, Sydney Carton entered his cell, swapped clothes with him, and died in his place.
Now, for a touching non-fiction story.
You and I have been declared guilty and received a death sentence (Rom 3:23; 6:23).
Jesus entered our death row cell, switched clothes with us, and was strapped to the gurney. The Savior became the substitute for the sinner—was made sin before God, so that we might be made righteous before God. He was clothed in our sins, and we were clothed in his righteousness.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
Salvation is free, but the cost
was the death of the sinless.