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Resurrection and justification
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler

The Bridge Church, Pembroke

The term justification is found 81 times in the King James Bible. The Greek word from which it is translated is “dikaios.” This expression is used to declare something equitable in character or act. If a thing is equitable, it is considered innocent, just, meet or right.

 If a person is taken to court over a crime and declared “not guilty,” the individual is released. A guilty finding by the jury usually results in punishment. However, there are times when the accused is guilty of the crime yet released as not guilty because the action was determined to be “justified.” For example, a burglar enters a home, is killed during the ensuing scuffle by the homeowner, and the jury decides the act was justified.

No punishment is placed on the homeowner.

There is another application for justification, and that is in Theology. The Apostle Paul clearly established the claim of “justification” for the Christians in Roman 4. Those who believe in Christ as their Savior find in Him the forgiveness necessary to be a child of God. “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom.

4:25). Since Jesus bore the blame for our sins and took the punishment, we are therefore forgiven because we believe in His covering for our sins. It is through His shed blood that the penalty for sin was paid. Sin requires death. Your sin.

My sin. Everyone’s sin, required death.

Jesus suffering at the hands of wicked men paid the price demanded by God for the act of sin.

There is, however, another step in the process of becoming a Christian that we should recognize. Jesus suffered terribly for our “offences,” another word for our sins, but “was raised again for our justification.” Remember, justification means that you have a right to forgo punishment for wrong. We are justified by the resurrection of Christ so that we can be the sons of God. We have no such claim without Christ. We have “abundant life” through the Savior and hope of a future eternal life in Heaven. Satan held the power of sin and death, but Jesus broke that power by His resurrection. It is only after the resurrection that Jesus told us He held the keys of death and hell. No one goes to hell unless Jesus sends them.

No one really dies who is His child but is immediately translated into His presence (see Phili. 1:23-24, 2 Cor. 5:6-8). Without His resurrection, His death on Calvary would leave the plan of salvation incomplete. Praise God! This did not happen.

He arose! He arose!

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