When Jesus died on the cross, there was an unseen transaction in the spiritual world. All the evil that was due to us and our disobedience came upon Jesus as our representative, the last Adam, as He hung there on the cross, made a curse for us, that in return, we might receive all the good that is eternally due to Jesus, the spotless, sinless, obedient son of God. That's the exchange. The evil came upon Jesus that we might receive the good due to Him.
One aspect of this exchange is summed up in the phrase, from rejection to acceptance.
Rejection is something which all of us experience at some time, but often we do not recognize it. Personally, I would say that rejection is the commonest emotional and spiritual problem and cause of suffering in our contemporary culture. Essentially, rejection is the feeling of being unwanted, unworthy, not really belonging, somehow being excluded. And, with rejection, there go many other things, loneliness, misery, self‑pity, often even more terrible things like despair and suicide, but they all spring from that bitter root of rejection.
Now, this condition of rejection is described in various places in the Bible but there's a kind of general rejection which belongs to all who are not rightly related to God. This is described rather vividly by Paul in Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 12. He's speaking to believers from a non‑Jewish background and he says:
"Before you became believers, remember at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel, foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world." (NIV)
What terrible words those are at the end, without hope and without God. Truly everyone who is without Christ is without hope and without God; an alien, stranger, an orphan, somebody for whom full provision isn't made, somebody who's not worthy to be in but is on the outside looking in with longing and unfulfilled expectations. That's the condition of those, who through sin, have lost a right relationship with God, who need to be reconciled back to God.
But praise God for the cross! In Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 13, Paul says:
"But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ." (NIV)
That's the transition: from rejection to acceptance. We were far away, we were outside the family, we didn't belong, we were aliens and strangers, we had no rights. If we came to God at all it was as beggars, not as children, but now, through the death of Jesus, through His shed blood, we, who were once far away, have been brought near to God. That's the transition from rejection to acceptance.
Father, thank You so much I’m not ‘outside’ anymore, but that I’m now part of Your family, not separated anymore from You, but that I can now come close to You, may be full of hope in You, fully accepted by You, in Your precious Son Jesus Christ. Thank You! Praise Your Name! Amen!
For a complete study on the subject of Rejection, we recommend the book 'God's remedy for rejection'.