Jesus Came to Die to Make Us Righteous
I’m convinced that one of the great, controlling desires in our lives is the desire to be right. We are threatened when others disagree with us politically and theologically. We’re even threatened when people don’t like the same sports teams, movies and music that we like. We’re threatened because we hate. being. wrong.
This desire in us isn’t bad. We are right to want to be “in the right”. Where we go wrong is trying to find our right standing in ridiculous things.
Consider Romans 3:21-26
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (ESV)
Some key truths here:
- There is a righteousness from God that we CAN have – “The righteousness of God has been manifested…” (v. 21)
- This righteousness (or right-standing) before God comes through Jesus Christ – “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” (v. 24)
- This righteousness through Christ came because Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins – he took our penalty – “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood” (v. 25)
- This righteousness – the covering and cancellation of all our penalties through the death of Christ – is received by faith – “to be received by faith” (v. 25)
- This sin covering righteousness is for ALL who believe – “through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (v. 22)
These truths are not natural for us to receive. It’s more familiar to us to believe that we must earn something from God. We like the idea that God would owe us something. But the goodness of Good Friday – the goodness of the gospel – is better than “putting God in our debt”. The good news is that it is sinners that are saved. There’s more. I think this is Romans 3:21-26 in a nutshell and the point of today’s meditation. The good news of the gospel is not only that sinners are saved. It is that they are saved not because of how good they can become, but, rather, because of how good Jesus has been and always will be.
*Join us this Friday, 6:00PM at Meridian Bridge as we gather to sing about this gift of righteousness through the death of Jesus for sinners.