Daily Thought for: 15th November

JUST

1 Peter 3. 18

When it became clear that a temporary covering over of sins was not sufficient, and that sin must be dealt with judicially and for all time, it was also evident that man could not possibly engineer this for himself. All men were unrighteous, or unjust. Over the centuries evidence as to this fact had piled up, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one’, intoned the psalmist. All had gone astray, and with deliberation had turned to their own way. All men had fallen short, some were evil and certainly right living was not their motivation.

But God’s Son was not like that. He was the righteous One. He was not characterized, nor even tainted by sin. He was without blemish and spot. Even under pressure of the most grievous kind He maintained His righteous position, and always did the right thing. It is logical that the unjust should pay the penalty for their sin and the Just One should be asked to bear no penalty whatsoever. Indeed, He should be roundly praised for a life of consistent righteousness!

The blessing here is that voluntarily Christ suffered and He did so once and for all (never to be repeated), and for all time (sins never to be remembered), and for all men (none excluded), as far as the gospel offer is concerned. There were many willing and eloquent witnesses to His righteousness. Stephen, in his compelling address to the Sanhedrin calls Christ ‘the Just One’, Acts 7. 52, and Peter also recognizes this in Acts 3.14, ‘Ye denied the Holy One and the Just’. Interestingly, even Pilate’s wife advised her husband, ‘Have thou nothing to do with that just man’. Regrettably, he ignored her.

We rejoice in these plaudits and praise God for everything else that was accomplished when Christ suffered ‘the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God’ in salvation and blessing. These verses suggest the thought that His sufferings were definitive (once and for all), for sins, substitutionary, and successful. They were gloriously capped in resurrection, ascension and promotion to the highest place of honour afforded by heaven. Because God is just He is also the justifier of all who believe in the Lord Jesus. And the just live by faith.

 

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