Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification. —Romans 4:25.
Christ was delivered for our offenses, delivered into death. He atoned for our sins by His death, and He was raised again from the dead because of our justification. By the resurrection of Christ, God showed that He fully accepted the sacrifice of His Son on the cross and, as a result of that sacrifice, He has freely justified the world of sinners.
Yes, Christ’s surrender unto death is our atonement, the price that Christ paid to God for the world’s sins. His resurrection makes it absolutely clear that God accepted that payment, that price for the justification of the whole world.
I wonder if you understand this, kind reader. Christ is our Substitute. By atoning for our sins with His death as our Substitute, He has reconciled God to us and to all other sinners in the “world” (II Corinthians 5:19).
Then God raised Him from the dead. Thereby God declared in very fact that nothing has remained for Christ to do for our reconciliation, towards the atonement for our sins. By the resurrection of our Substitute, God declared that our sins and the sins of the whole world have been atoned for, that in His sight we and all sinners are “righteous” in Christ (Romans 5:18-19).
Christ’s resurrection is the wonderful announcement of our justification and the justification of all other human beings. If Christ had not been raised from the dead, we would not know whether our sins were really atoned for, whether God had actually accepted Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, whether we were actually reconciled to God, whether we were actually righteous before God in Christ. But now that God has raised Christ, we know that He has actually atoned for our sins and the sins of the world, that God has actually accepted the sacrifice of Christ for our sins and the sins of all, that we and all in the world are actually reconciled to God, that we and all people are actually righteous in the sight of God.
We are to look upon Christ’s resurrection from the dead as the declaration of our righteousness, our justification, and fully trust and believe in it. Everything, the truth of all the Scripture, the whole Christian faith, yea, everything depends upon Christ’s resurrection. “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (I Corinthians 15:17). “But now is Christ risen from the dead” (v. 20a), making our justification before God, our forgiveness before God, our reconciliation with God absolutely sure and certain!
PRAYER – My dear Savior, Jesus Christ, the risen One, Thou art my righteousness before God. Preserve and strengthen my trust and confidence in Thee and in Thy resurrection, the evidence that I am justified before the one, true, and gracious God. Amen.
Since Christ hath full atonement made,
and brought to us salvation;
each Christian therefore may be glad,
and build on this foundation.
Thy grace alone, dear Lord, I plead;
Thy death is now my life indeed,
for Thou hast paid my ransom
(TLH, 377, st. 6).