[Jesus] was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
The resurrection also validates the death of Jesus on the cross for our sins.
In Matthew 20:28 Jesus told His disciples, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Jesus said that He came to die not for His own sins but for our sins. His death was the ransom—or payment—for our sins.
But how do we know God accepted that payment? Romans 4:25 says Jesus “was raised because of our justification.” See, had His body remained in the tomb it would have meant Jesus died for His own sins, and not for our sins.
Let me illustrate that for you. Let’s say I look at my friend Walter. I know Walter is going through some financial difficulty, so I say, “Walter I’d like to do something really nice for you. You’re such an invaluable coworker. I’m going to go to your bank and pay off your mortgage. Would that help you?” Walter thanks me profusely. But the next month Walter gets a mortgage statement demanding payment. So he goes does down to the bank and says, “You don’t understand. Dr. Jeffress already made the payment for me.” And the bank official says to Walter, “Well, it is true Dr. Jeffress came in the bank, and he did give us a check. But you see, Dr. Jeffress has his own debt here at the bank. In fact we’re about to foreclose on his house, so we took his check and applied it to his debt, not to yours.”
Jesus Christ offered to pay for our sins. Even though He said He was going to pay for our sins, if He had remained in that grave, it would have meant that Jesus died for His own sins, to pay His own sin debt. It would have meant God would have accepted the payment for Jesus’ sins, but not for our sins.
Yet Jesus was raised up from the grave as proof positive that God had accepted Jesus’ payment in full for our sins. That’s what the death of Christ means. The empty tomb says that God has accepted Christ’s payment for our sins.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Simple Answers to Sincere Questions,” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.