Day 215 – Justified by His Resurrection. But How?

[Jesus] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Romans 4:25 NIV

I get that first part – Jesus died in my place, a substitutionary atonement for my sins. Jesus fulfilled the just penalty for my sins. In a sense, He took away my sins.

But what about the Resurrection? How does that justify me?

The “big switch” of 2 Corinthians 5:21 says in effect that “Jesus died the death I should have died and lived the life I could not live.”

As I tell my kids, it’s like Jesus took my failing report card (and the penalty that went with it) and gave me his straight A report card (and the righteousness behind it).

Jesus’  life in this case stands in for mine. I am justified by His own righteous works, His life.

But what about the Resurrection? How does that justify me?

To the commentaries.

Why repeat what they say better than me? Here from the ESV Study Bible (bold mine):

Both the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are necessary for forgiveness of sins and justification…. When God the Father raised Christ from the dead, it was a demonstration that he accepted Christ’s suffering and death as full payment for sin, and that the Father’s favor, no longer his wrath against sin, was directed toward Christ, and through Christ toward those who believe. Since Paul sees Christians as united with Christ in his death and resurrection (6:6, 8–11; Eph. 2:6; Col. 2:12; 3:1), God’s approval of Christ at the resurrection results in God’s approval also of all who are united to Christ, and in this way results in their “justification.”

The Geneva Study Bible emphasizes the first point above: the Resurrection shows that God received Jesus’ death on our behalf. The Cross worked. Thus the Resurrection proves we are truly justified by the removal of sin’s punishment.

The Resurrection also shows that God approves Jesus – His death and His life. And that life is ours in Jesus. We are justified because of His righteous life, which replaces our unrighteous life.

The dumb-down version that helps me to “get” it:

So the Resurrection in effect proves that both sides of the “big switch” work. In the Resurrection, God said that Jesus was punished enough for my failing report card, so that report card is destroyed… and therefore I get to keep the straight A report card!

That’s helpful to know…  Amen.


Today’s Readings: Esther 5:1-6:14,  Psalm 90:1-6, Proverbs 22:9, Romans 4:1-25. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).


One thought on “Day 215 – Justified by His Resurrection. But How?

  1. I think that it’s ok that we don’t know all the “hows.” If we knew all the “hows,” I think we would risk trying to play God too much. Better to rely on faith of the heart than on knowledge of the mind. For even the demons have the head-knowledge that Jesus is God.

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