Read the following from Stott’s The Cross of Christ slowly and carefully, and then listen to the track that follows:
“What, then, was it that God did or accomplished in and through Christ? Paul answers this question in two complementary ways, negative and positive. Negatively, God declined to reckon our transgressions against us (2 Cor 5:19). Of course we deserved to have them counted against us. But if he were to bring us into judgment, we would die.
‘If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, who could stand?’ (Ps 130:3)
So God in his mercy refused to reckon our sins against us or require us to bear their penalty. What then has he done with them? For he cannot condone them. No, the positive counterpart is given in 2 Corinthians 5:21: ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’ It is surely one of the most startling statements in the Bible…. For our sake God actually made the sinless Christ to be sin with our sins. The God who refused to reckon our sins to us reckoned them to Christ instead.
…Luther, writing to a monk in distress about his sins [said], ‘Learn to know Christ and him crucified. Learn to sing to him and say, “Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, I am your sin! You took on you what was mine; yet set on me what was yours! You became what you were not, that I might become what I was not!”‘” (196-7).