He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. – 1 Peter 2:24
Are you a sinner living for sin, or are you a sinner living for righteousness? How do you view yourself?
Sin had us tied up, and we carried the guilt of knowing we were not who we were meant to be. We were in fear of the results of our sinfulness keeping us away from God. Even when we did good things or acted out of kindness, we could not undo that sin had ruined us and the world around us.
When Jesus died, He took all of our wrongs with Him up on the cross. In some wonderful but mysterious way God placed our guilt and punishment on Jesus, and also the evil that had spread though all of nature. Jesus loved, died and forgave each of as individuals. But He also broke the control that wickedness had over the world. Sin has no more power over us, and God has reclaimed His creation.
This doesn’t make us perfect. We still stumble and do wrong. But once we were controlled by sin, and that is what has changed. It is defeated, it’s power is defeated, and we are forgiven. To go back to our question at the beginning, we are not sinners living for righteousness. We are now righteous, no long living for sin. The sinner that we were is dead. Sin is dead. We are made new, and now truly alive.