He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
Pastor John’s Notes:
Jesus Christ took our place in punishment. The penalty for all our sin has been paid for through his submission to the cross. We are now set free to live in righteousness. What a wonderful act of love! We call this work of God “justification,” and it is God’s free gift to us.
Imagine for a moment that there are two people embroiled in an argument. Their relationship has broken down, and communication became strained. Each time they meet, the problem is staring them in the face. The brokenness will continue until one party decides that the relationship is more important than the argument. Blame can be absorbed, so one party decides to take the blame upon himself and set the other person free, even though the other was the one who was truly responsible. We see this form of reconciliation happen all the time. When one friend says, “This was my fault,” it releases the tension. Typically, the other friend will say, “No, I was the one to blame,” and soon they are friends again. This common form of reconciliation is in a small way what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. He has taken our guilt upon himself in order to restore our relationship.
When Jesus Christ gave his life on the cross, a fundamental change took place in how God relates to us. Now, all barriers have been removed and our relationship with God can be completely restored. The tension has dissolved, and we can take our rightful place as the sons and daughters of God. All that remains is for us to understand what God has done and agree with it. This is what it means to accept Jesus as our Savior. It is not enough for us to understand the cross intellectually; we accept this new agreement with God. Until we do, we will remain locked in our former way of relating.
The reason Jesus is worthy of our praise is he is the one through whom God justified the world to himself. He is our intercessor and mediator. This is why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). Therefore, the only way our relationship with God can be restored is through Jesus Christ. No one else in heaven or on earth is worthy.
Lord Jesus Christ, you are worthy of all my worship for what you have done for me on the cross. My life is yours. Let me live in perpetual gratitude for my redemption and commit myself to walk in your ways all the days of my life.