February 12, 2021 – Friday
Romans 4:23-25 NIV
23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone,
24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Only yesterday we read and discussed verses 17 and 18 in this chapter which read, As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” In those verses Paul was making the powerful point that believers in Christ Jesus, including Gentiles, were spiritual children of Abraham. Today we end the chapter with the three verses above that are even more powerful.
The key to the first two verses is for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Just what does that mean for us? It means we believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins (see v25 above) and with His resurrection He was victorious over both sin and death. Why did this happen? Why did this have to happen? It happened because of God’s incredible love for us. And it had to happen so we could be justified before God or as verse 25 says, [Jesus] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Further, it is our belief and faith in what Jesus did on the cross and His resurrection that saves us, justifies us.
I believe it is important that we take the verses for today and personalize them. By personalizing them I mean the following: The words “it was credited to him” were written not for [Abraham] alone, but also for me [Riley Driver], to whom God will credit righteousness—for I [Riley Driver] believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for my [Riley Driver’s] sins and was raised to life for my [Riley Driver’s] justification. I suggest you do something like this using your name and then print it out. Be reminded every single day that Jesus died for your sins so you could be justified before God.
Then it is important to look around you at all the people who are not saved, even those you do not like [the reason is unimportant] and realize Jesus died and was resurrected for them as well. There is no sin greater than God’s love and mercy granted though what Jesus did on the cross and His resurrection. Why is the resurrection so important if Jesus paid the price for our sins on the cross? Guzik explains it thusly, The resurrection has an essential place in our redemption because it demonstrates God the Father’s perfect satisfaction with the Son’s work on the cross. It proves that what Jesus did on the cross was in fact a perfect sacrifice made by One who remained perfect, even though bearing the sin of the world. And that ladies and gentlemen is how we can know our belief and faith in what was done – on the cross and the resurrection – results in our being justified before God.
Knowing this and knowing how we did not deserve this, we become humbled by God’s love and mercy when we consider our sins. This should lead us to want to share this wonderful Good News with others who are dead in their sins as we were. We don’t have to know their sins; we only have to share how the weight of our own sins was removed from our backs and let them know the same can happen for them as well. They may not believe they deserve this forgiveness, but that was also true for us. None of us deserved it. The forgiveness given to us was a gift of love available to everyone who will partake of it as well.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Thank You for what You did for me, for us, through Your Son’s sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection. Your love knows no bounds and I am, we are, thankful for Your incredible love. Help me, us, to share this wonderful Good News with others. – In Jesus name. Amen.