Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It 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 4:23-25)
Delivered Up And Raised
A criminal is a person who is guilty of committing a trespass against the law. To be a criminal is to act against what is forbidden and a violation of the law. The majority of citizens are law-abiding persons who would never want to be accused of living a criminal life in rebellion against society and the laws of the land. While most citizens are good people living good and decent lives, the label of criminal is attached to every person when it comes to sin. Paul declared that all men sin and fall short of the glory of God. This means that all are guilty before the Lord as criminals, charged with the heinous crime of rebellion against the grace of God. The language of the Holy Spirit describes the state of affairs for humanity is clearly defined by the terms of offenses, trespasses, sins, transgressions, and acts of criminality against God. There are no innocent souls before God. No one can stand before the Judge of all men and claim innocence. Everyone is guilty.
Jesus was sent by the Father to redeem sinful man. The Son of God came to live among men and dwell in the fleshly body experiencing all the frailty of temptation. He lived for more than three decades without one trespass of the law of God. The lust of flesh weighed heavy upon Him. Pride and exaltation of self burdened the Lord. The lust of the eyes faced the Son of God each day. With the love and power of His heavenly Father, Jesus resisted all sin and died an innocent man. He was crucified as a criminal, but Jesus was never a criminal. That is not the case with humanity. All men are criminals, and Jesus was sentenced to death because of the sins of mankind. Every person from Adam until the final person born before the coming of the Lord stands adjudicated guilty of rebellion against God. Sin is personal because no one is exempt.
It is imperative that every man look in the mirror and see the reason Jesus suffered on the cross. A criminal is someone who goes against the law and standing before the law of God; all men bear the mark of a criminal – guilty of killing the Son of God. Jesus did not die because of someone else’s sin. Jesus died because of the sin of everyone. The language Paul uses is “our offenses” or “my crime.” The guilty person is the one who accepts the guilt of sin and the price paid to redeem the soul from the wrath of God. Jesus was delivered up so that He could be raised up for the justification of all men. The Lord died because of sin, but He was raised because of mercy. God raised His Son from the dead to remove the guilt of sin from those who come to Jesus and accept the grace of the Father. Jesus came out of the grave to make all men right with God, but all men will not come out of the world to accept the love of the Father. The Son of God was delivered and raised to save the soul. How could anyone reject this invitation?
Jesus fulfilled with the work of His Father when He was delivered up for the sins of humankind. He was raised up to bring justification to those who come to the cross in obedience. Salvation does not come automatically. Justification is found in the blood of Jesus Christ when an obedient heart accepts the grace and mercy of God and finds the cleansing blood of Jesus in the waters of baptism. There is no place justification can be found but in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Paul will describe this process of death, burial, and resurrection as the waters of baptism. All men are redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus only when they come to obey the works of justification. Thank God Jesus came to earth. Thank you, God, for raising Jesus from the dead. I can be delivered. I can be justified.