[Jesus] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Jesus was not caught by surprise. Riding a donkey into Jerusalem (John 12:12-15), he knew he would soon be arrested, sentenced, and executed, although he was innocent. And then he would rise to life again! Jesus had predicted all this to his disciples (Luke 18:31-33).
As we think about these things, let’s remember that Jesus did all this for our salvation—so that we could be made right before God. Because of Jesus’ death to pay the price of our sin, God credits us with Jesus’ righteousness—making us justified— when we believe in his promise to save. In this way we become the spiritual descendants of Abraham, who believed “that God had the power to do what he had promised.”
Because he had such faith, Abraham is called “the father of all who believe” (Romans 4:11).
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563), approved by the Synod of Dort in 1619, describes faith this way: “True faith is not only a sure knowledge by which I hold as true all that God has revealed to us in Scripture; it is also a wholehearted trust, which the Holy Spirit creates in me by the gospel.”
This is the good news: God sent his only Son. He lived, was crucified and buried, and rose from the dead so that we too may live. Believe it, and be right with God. Believe it, and be credited with righteousness (justified). Believe it, and live as God’s children today!
Gracious God, thank you for the gifts of righteousness and faith in Christ. We want to live as your children in this world. Empower us with your Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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