CHRIST BEING MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS
OF JEHOVAH TO GOD’S ELECT
The book of Jeremiah reveals that Christ is made the righteousness of Jehovah to God’s elect (23:6; 33:16). Why is it necessary for Christ to be made God’s righteousness to God’s people? Someone might answer by saying that Christ must be made the righteousness of Jehovah to God’s elect people because in themselves they are wicked and corrupt and altogether without righteousness; and unless Christ becomes righteousness to them, God cannot have anything to do with them. Such an answer is good, but it is lacking in light and in vision and remains on the level of a mere Bible study. The best way to answer this question is to answer according to the revelation in the New Testament concerning God’s economy.
God’s economy is to make Christ everything, to make Christ the centrality and the universality, for the producing of God’s increase, God’s enlargement, which is the church. The increase, the enlargement, of God is the fullness of God for His expression. The consummation of this fullness will be the New Jerusalem. If we consider the New Jerusalem as it is described in Revelation 21 and 22, we will see that the New Jerusalem is God’s eternal increase with Christ as the center and the circumference.
We may say that in eternity past God was a "bachelor," meaning that He was alone without anyone to match Him. In eternity future, however, God will no longer be a bachelor but will have the New Jerusalem as His wife (Rev. 21:9-10). This wife will also be the tabernacle (Rev. 21:3). This wife, this tabernacle, is the increase of God. Thus, the New Jerusalem, the consummation of God’s selected people, is the enlargement of God. Christ is the centrality and universality of this enlargement. This is God’s economy.
If we see this, we will know why it is necessary for Christ to be made the righteousness of Jehovah to God’s people. According to the book of Jeremiah, Israel was wicked and provoked God’s wrath, and because of this God came in to punish and chastise them. Actually, Israel’s evil and wickedness prepared the way for Christ to come in to be their righteousness. If Israel had been righteous, how could Christ have become their righteousness? It would have been impossible. But according to Paul’s thought, their unrighteousness and sinfulness provided the opportunity for Christ to come in and be made the righteousness of Jehovah to them. Therefore, the subject of Jeremiah is Christ being made the righteousness of Jehovah to God’s elect as their center and circumference. Eventually, Israel will manifest Christ, who is their righteousness, as their centrality and universality. This manifestation will consummate in the New Jerusalem.
(Life-Study of Jeremiah and Lamentations, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)