Reconciliation means to settle one’s differences, to make peace between enemies, or to declare a truce. Through the work of Christ on the cross, Jesus has brought humanity and God together again. Reconciliation refers to a restored relationship between God and the lost world.
Another key idea in this section is imputation. This is a word borrowed from banking; it simply means “to put to one’s account.” When you deposit money in the bank, the computer (or the clerk) puts that amount to your account, or to your credit.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! 18 Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.” 21 He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
When Jesus died on the cross, all of our sins were to put on Jesus’ account or imputed to Him. He was treated by God as though He had actually committed our sins.
The result? All of those sins have been paid for and God no longer holds them against us, because we have trusted Christ as our Savior. But even more: God has put to our account the very righteousness of Christ! “He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21).