But Abraham grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 Therefore his faith ‘was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ 23 Now the words, ‘it was reckoned to him’, were written not for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.
On this another Lord’s Day, we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus and Jesus as our life. In today’s text, the Apostle Paul is completing his proof that Abraham is justified, or made right with God, not by any works that he has done, but only by his faith in God. Then like any good preacher Paul makes application of this truth to you and me, and says that these things “were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.” Paul wants us to know that, just as it was with Abraham, so also with us, our faith ” will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” In other words, the faith that pleases God is a faith that he is the God of resurrection.
Note in Paul’s reasoning his careful use of prepositions: Jesus was “handed over to death for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.” The preposition, “for” has the idea of “because of.” For instance, when in the post office you see a reward poster with a person’s picture and the words, “Wanted for Mail Fraud,” you know that the person is wanted “for,” or wanted “because of” mail fraud. So Paul is saying: just as Jesus was handed over to death for, or “because of” our trespasses, so Jesus was raised for, or “because of” our justification.
Here is the incredible good news of this Sunday, and day of resurrection! Our Lord Jesus was raised from the dead “for,” or “because of” our justification having been accomplished. In fact Jesus’ resurrection is living proof that our justification is complete, living proof that nothing more needs to be done to put us right with God. If our justification were not complete, then Jesus would still be in the grave today.
The American theologian, S. Lewis Johnson (1915-2004), said that “In the cross we see justification completed. Looking at the open tomb we see justification completed.” The empty tomb is God’s “Amen” to Christ’s cry on the cross, “It is finished!” Rejoice on this the Lord’s Day of resurrection, and let your heart be at peace! Amen!
Soaking in Scripture…
Today’s Andy Moments…