“He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”
Do you ever stop to think what the resurrection of Jesus means to you personally? The passage above says that Jesus was raised to life for your justification. That means that God the Father accepts you because Jesus was raised from the dead. He has pardoned you from the penalty of your sin because Jesus was raised from the dead. He treats you as a righteous person because Jesus was raised from the dead. You can stand confidently before God because of Jesus' resurrection. Hmmm . . . how does that work?
The first thing you have to understand is that you are justified because God says you are. If you try to plead your case you will lose; you don't have anything good to bring to your own defense. The Pharisees tried to do that and Jesus said to them: "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts . . ." You aren't justified before God because of your innate goodness, or your good works, or your happy thoughts. Your justification can only be based on Christ's perfect obedience and His complete satisfaction of God's penalty for your sin. And how do you know that Jesus lived in perfect obedience? How do you know that He completely satisfied God's judgment for your sin? You know BECAUSE OF THE RESURRECTION! The resurrection of Jesus is absolute evidence that God’s plan of salvation is complete, successful, adequate, effective and FINISHED! Think about it . . .
IF Jesus had just been a good guy who said good things and was nice to people . . . and then just had some really bad luck at the end. IF that’s who Jesus really was, then he would still be dead. Some regular guy, no matter how nice he was, could not have raised himself from the dead! The only way for anybody to be raised from the dead is by an act of God. And God – who isn’t a liar or a deceiver or a fool – certainly would not have supernaturally and powerfully affirmed an imposter’s lie. BUT Jesus WAS raised from the dead. He is ALIVE! And that is irrefutable evidence that what He said is true.
Paul put it this way in Romans 1:1-4 – “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God — the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord."
This should give you great confidence. This should put your faith in an unshakable position because God did the impossible to prove that Jesus' promises were true. He IS the resurrection and the life. He IS the way, the truth and the life. He IS our righteousness. He IS our Redeemer and Lord. Because of the resurrection we can have assurance of our position with God. We can live confidently, worship fervently, serve obediently, and face death courageously.
--- Pastor Keith Andrews