“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God and are justified by his Grace as a gift (through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus 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;
- His righteousness at the present time so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (excerpts from Rom 3:21-26)
Today we celebrate Easter. The Gospel is interwoven in everything, especially Easter. Why is this important and what does it mean?
There are certain sections of the Scriptures that I have to cut up in order to make what I am reading sensible. Not the Scriptures fault; I am just used to reading in a certain style.
Easter is celebrated for the resurrection of our Lord—He conquered sin, death, the evil one, etc. and the resurrection is the exclamation point of “He is Lord of All” (dropping the mic here). That exclamation point is also the exclamation point of the Gospel—otherwise the Gospel is only a philosophy and not the living, eternal, plan of our God from before time.
Why hammer the Gospel at Easter? And why draw out stuff in Romans to do it? For this simple but profound reason: I forget.
Paul writes a few things that I must keep in the forefront of my mind:
- The righteousness of God is found in the Gospel;
- Jesus is the righteousness of God;
- All have sinned and fall under the Justice of God;
- The propitiation found in Jesus is given by Grace and found in faith.
God the Son died for me. When I say this to myself I don’t really give it the wonder and honor it deserves. My sin was so great that only the Blood of God could cover my sin and make me presentable before Him. Without that Blood I could not approach God.
So there are two components to consider: for my behalf Jesus had to appease the Justice of God, and; because I cannot see, conceive, fathom, be aware of that deficiency in myself I have to believe that I need Jesus’ sacrifice in FAITH—I have to be told I am deficient, I have to have some understanding that I am deficient, and in FAITH I must believe, understand, and acknowledge that my deficiency is taken care of by the Lord of Creation, Jesus.
Here is where I have to have my mind changed/renewed: God the Trinity planned the Gospel and Jesus died for me because He loves me—but NOT that I am deserving of His love. This is hard hard hard to wrap my mind around.
So here is the bottom line for me: Easter is a celebration of all that it took to justify me—not because I deserve it but because I don’t deserve it. Today will be a somber and wonderful celebration of His Love of undeserving me.
O majestic Lord God, the older I get the more I think I see. This week has been one of physical pain, the acknowledgement of being the progeny of Adam. Thank you for loving me, providing for me, drawing me closer to You every day even as my temptation is to run the other way. You are so so good to me. AMEN.