Saturday, August 01, 2009

Offenses and Justification

"It (justification by faith) shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification." - Romans 4: 24b-25

This was another one of those moments reading the Scripture this morning that made me stop - the kind of moment that makes you wonder "How did I miss this - has this always been here?"

The part that grabbed me was not the first part - justification by faith alone in Christ alone, although you would think that would be enough to blow my mind. No, it was the second part "delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification" that literally had me stop and hold my breath.

"delivered up because of our offenses" - that sure doesn't make me sound like anything, does it? Christ was delivered up to be mocked, scorned, beaten, and crucified - because of my offenses. He was given in place of me. My offenses - the ones that I so often just sort of don't think of as being so serious? Oh, those offenses.

"raised because of my justification" - Christ was raised by the Father for me, for my justification. If there was no one else in the world, it would just be only me. God exercised His power to raise His son, who died for me, so that He could justify me, pay the price of my sin, so that I could live eternally with Him.

Does this stun me as it should? Does this create a sense of awe in me? Do I truly reflect on the heinous nature of my sins, the sins that Christ had to die for? Do I seek to completely destroy them in my life, or do I see them as not so serious, not so damaging?

For the price Christ paid, why do I cling so stubbornly to them and am willing to live so flippantly with them?

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