Summary: The 10th in a series going through all Christ endured leading up to the Cross. The series ends Easter Sunday with the Glorious Resurrection
Jesus went through so much for all of us. Times like these when we come to see how much God truly loves us. God will go through great lengths to see to it that you are his child. We have looked at how they treated the Son of God. They persecuted the King of Kings. They ridiculed the Lord of Lords. They crucified God in the flesh. Even though Christ could have called down legions of angels to rescue Him, He did not because the world needed a Savior. He paid the price for the sins of the world.
The atrocities that Christ suffered did not stop with the soldiers gambling for His clothes. The next thing that they did to Jesus was that they condemned Him unjustly. The crowd saw Jesus as a man who was unjust and evil. They knew the truth, but He made them uncomfortable, and brought their unrighteousness to light. They crucified Him for it.
Read Luke 23:39-41
The thief of the cross recognized the righteousness of Christ. Today we will look at Christ’s righteousness and what that means for us.
I. Jesus was Righteous
The one thief new that what he had done was wrong. He and the other thief had both committed acts of injustice. We know that these men were robbers. They had given their lives to taking things from others and now it had caught up with them. They were condemned to die for their crimes and this thief called upon Christ. He realized the righteousness of God, and sought to obtain it. The other thief sought to ridicule and deny the righteousness of God. There were others who saw the righteousness of Jesus: Pilate admitted 3 times that there was no fault to be found (Jn. 18:38; 19:4,6) Pilate’s wife had a dream, and she too knew that Jesus was innocent. Judas later tried to return the money that he had accepted for betraying Jesus and he admitted that Jesus was innocent. The centurion admitted when Jesus died said that “surely He was righteous.” (Lk 23:47) Indicating that he too recognized Jesus’ innocence.
Jesus spent His life serving God. He was morally pure. Healing the sick and the faint at heart, giving sight to the blind, casting out demons, giving hope to the hopeless, peace and forgiveness was the life Jesus lived. Through Him people found justice when none would be given to them by the world around them, and freedom from the bondage of sin and the law. Jesus was more than just morally pure, He was Holy. Christ was without spot or blemish. Through His righteousness and holiness, Christ gave the ultimate sacrifice. While we were still sinners Christ died for us (Rm. 5:8). He died on the cross for the sins of all people and rose again on the third day. Only through His righteousness was He able to give a sacrifice to God. According to Hebrews, Christ’s work is complete and He now sits at the right hand of God. For there is no longer a need for another sacrifice.
II. Through His righteousness He is our advocate- 1 Jn. 2.1
When we sin, we can come to God through Jesus Christ. Hebrews tells us that Jesus goes to God for us and tells God what our needs are. Christ is in heaven with God, and He pleads our case to the Father. According to Hebrews Jesus lives to make intercession for us (7:25).
This means that we are not alone! Christ is on our side. He died for the sins of all people, and through that death He now stands before God and prays for us. When you are in need, Christ is there. When you are at the end of your rope, Christ is there. When you are hopeless and powerless, Christ is there. He is before God pleading your case and giving you what it is that you need.
Because of His righteousness, Christ stands before God. Now those who are his children have an advocate in heaven who is pleading their case before God.
III. Through His righteousness, we are righteous- 2 Cor. 5:21.
Also 1 Jn.3:7
“God made Him who had no sin to become sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God.” Through Christ, all who accept Him are made righteous, just as He is righteous. Before Christ, we would be numbered with the persecutors of Christ. We would be one of the voices in the crowd yelling crucify. Before Christ we were full of the world, and wickedness, empty, lost, and unholy. Now through Christ we are numbered among His children. Through His sacrifice, we are now acceptable before God.
His blood, righteous blood, now covers over us where God sees us through the blood of Christ. We are made acceptable to God through the blood. We are made righteous before God through the blood.