Let us begin with a very interesting yet controversial story. The book of Hosea narrates the story of a prophet whom God told to marry an adulteress, which happens to be his wife. No easy task for anyone nowadays. But the Lord was after something; He was sending a message to us – His bride. God’s people constantly went after other gods (idols), and in His sight this was the same as adultery. Therefore, God wanted to send a very firm and strong message, so He got His prophet to live it out in the flesh just to make a loving point. Hosea, the story tells, had to redeem Gomer (his wife), by paying a ransom for her just to get her back.
The chapter is titled “Hosea’s Reconciliation With His Wife.” Reconciliation is a key word for Christ’s Ambassadors. We will see that in more details in the coming days.
Reconciliation is the act of bringing back together again. In Hebrew, the word means to be covered, make atonement or propitiation on behalf of someone. In our legal terms, it’s what happens when someone pays your fine in court and sets you free. This is what God was proposing to do with His people. They didn’t know it yet, but plans were in motion to pay the ultimate fine, so we can return to God’s loving arms again. Just like He was illustrating through the life of Hosea and Gomer. Of course, Hosea represents God, Gomer represents His people, and the ransom is represented in Christ.
We have many idols that we constantly place before God, but today, God is telling you that He’s made a way – a way for us to be reconciled back to Himself through a perfect sacrifice; the penalty paid for our sins on our behalf. That if we only repent and throw away our idols, you are welcomed back to God through grace. As we dive deeper into what this means, we will look at different aspects of what it means to be a true ambassador, bringing people back to God again.
By now, the word reconciliation is starting to be more present and heavily mentioned throughout the New Testament. In just these two verse, the word appears three times. Making emphasis on the act itself that brought us back to God. In chapter 5 of the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul was preaching a new hope and a new peace that we can find in the assurance that we are saved through faith alone, and not by the merit of our work. This is the true message of the kingdom of heaven; the very real opportunity to be united with God again. But why do we need to be united again? Why is it we need reconciliation? Glad you asked!
Remember what happened in the garden of Eden? God created man and women to dwell with Him – within His presence – in the garden. Get this, we were created in His presence and for his presence. The moment Adam and Even sinned, humanity was cast away from the divine presence of God. We were cut off and fallen short of His glory. The unity and connection we had with God was severed and ruptured. And that is where Christ comes in; to bridge the gap between us and God in a very real sense. To make a way for us to get to heaven – in a way, back to Eden. This perfectly describes the work of reconciliation, and why it is so important that we are aware of our role in this ministry.
Reconciliation can only come through Christ. When humanity sinned, we became God’s enemy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be anyone's enemy, let alone God's. That is why we are so thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice, because it was through his death and resurrection that we can now have everlasting life.
Here is where we put all the puzzle pieces together. The bible clearly states that we are as Ambassadors of Christ. Not only that, but it gave us a job, a purpose, a responsibility, that we ought to seek out and urgently implore people on behalf of Jesus to be reconciled back to God. It’s a direct appeal from our Heavenly Father through us! This is the reason why God made His own son as sin for us, just to make us righteous in Him. Like the endearing “Amazing Grace” song declares, “I once was lost [because of sin], but now I am found [because of Christ!].” [Emphasis added]
Our job and duty, as ambassadors, on behalf of Christ, is to bridge the gap. There is a Grand Canyon of sin separating humanity from God, but now that we are saved it is our priority to tell others about the message of reconciliation; that Christ was made sin (having committed none) and was crucified at the cross on our behalf, and that He resurrected on the third day, giving us all the opportunity to be made right before God by not counting our sin against us. This is the good news!
The church, thereby, becomes a celestial embassy. A place of refuge and legal protection, bound by the word of God, where heaven meets earth. The US has an embassy in other countries that directly represents the US in foreign soil. It serves as a direct contact to the US. Likewise, The Church is a representation of heaven! In Philippians 3:20, the apostle Paul reminds us that our citizenship is not of this earth. Jesus, Himself, said in John 17:16 that we are not of this world. Therefore, He established a spiritual embassy to bring heaven’s long-lost citizens back in contact with the King of glory and under the protection of the Kingdom of God. THAT is what being an ambassador of Christ is all about.