Accepted and Satisfied

This past Lord’s Day morning, we considered the death, resurrection, ascension, and session of Jesus Christ in the words that the Apostle Peter preached to the men of Israel in Acts 2:22-36. We considered many wonderful things about the glorious work of Christ, including the significance of His resurrection. Christ lived for our justification. He died for our justification. He was raised for our justification. The act by which we’re declared righteous by God in justification rests on the Person of Christ through His life, death, and resurrection.

Taking time briefly to reflect more on Christ’s resurrection, it’s true that there’s much to consider regarding the significance of that event. It’s good and important to see and understand the emphasis of the New Testament that the Resurrection is the Father’s vindication of his Son. What does vindication mean? It’s where one is cleared of blame. Christ’s work for us was received and accepted by the Father.

How could this happen? Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. Christ and His sacrifice is only means through which God’s wrath could be satisfied and sinful man can be reconciled to Him. The Apostle John in 1 John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins [emphasis added].

Regarding the love of Christ and His propitiatory sacrifice, we see this unfold in Scripture as He was foretold to be and had claimed to be the Messiah, the promised Anointed One, who would deliver God’s people from their sins (Matt. 1:21, Matt. 3:13-17). Yet, did that claim fall flat when He was condemned by wicked men? Not at all. As Peter teaches us in Acts 2, there was a divine purpose in His death. Remember that Peter said in Acts 2:23, Jesus was “delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God [emphasis added]”. The Apostle Paul taught the same truth to the saints in Rome when he said God “did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all [emphasis added]” (Rom. 8:32). It was God’s will that His Servant should suffer, but it was for our sins, not His. Out of abundant love, He took our place. The punishment that brings us peace was laid upon Him (Isa. 53:5-10). Peter further declares wonderful truth regarding Christ’s sacrifice in 1 Pet. 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit [emphasis added].”

But, how do we know that the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ truly yielded propitiation in satisfying the justice of God? How do we know that it was acceptable to God? In the resurrection of Christ, Jesus not only declares Himself to be the Son of God, He not only declares His victory over sin and death, but His resurrection also shows and declares that Jesus and His work in paying for our sins was fully received and accepted by God. In the resurrection, the Father declares that He is satisfied. Christ is declared to be the righteous one. Therefore, the Father raised and glorified Him. Praise the Lord!

I pray that this is of great comfort, confidence, and joy to you as you meditate on and grow in knowing the love of God toward you, in knowing and praising Christ and the effectiveness of His wonderful work for you!