How God accomplished our eternal salvation by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is an astonishing revelation. Everyone who places their trust in Jesus do not simply receive the forgiveness of their sins; their entire record of sins ceases to exist. Everyone who trusts in Jesus for their salvation will live in eternity as a perfect being.
This is the idea behind the term “justification.” This chapter explains how Jesus’ death accomplished this extraordinary status for us and what it means for every person who receives Him as their Savior.
The prophet Isaiah writes: The Messiah’s sacrifice will justify all those who put their trust in Him.
Isaiah 53:11c He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
New Testament Fulfillment:
Romans 5:8-9 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Romans 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…
Perfect For Heaven
The process of justification is a singular act of God whereby He removes the sins of a person, and causes them to exist as if they had never sinned before. Justification and the resulting effects of this legal procedure declares a person “not guilty.” In the very essence of the word, justification carries the idea of perfection. If we dismantle the word, we see that it states within itself what it does: Just-as-if-I-had-never-sinned. The complete process of justification transforms a guilty sinner into a morally perfect being, resulting in a standing before God that causes them to exist as if they had never sinned at any time throughout their life.
Justification is the only means by which Holy God can accept a sinner and cleanse him of his sin so that he is fit for heaven. When anyone places his complete trust in the finished work Jesus has accomplished on the Cross, God justifies him and makes that person completely and perfectly righteous forever.
The process of justification does not mean that the sins of a person are swept aside or ignored. In order for justification to occur, a penalty must be executed upon the guilty person who has committed the sins. The penalty for sin is death. Therefore, no sin can be forgiven or removed until the death of the guilty has taken place.
The process of justification does, however, allow an innocent substitute to assume all of the failures of the guilty person and take the penalty himself. A large part of the plan of God, in allowing Jesus to suffer for the sins of every person, is to allow God a righteous basis to forgive our sins. The pronouncement of God is that the soul who sins will die.
Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.”
In order for God to be seen as Just, He must punish sin by the death of the guilty. In making our salvation a reality, God did not overlook our sin. He punished it just as He promised. This was accomplished by a provision in the law of God that an innocent could take the penalty for the guilty and thereby set them free.
Leviticus 1:3-4 “If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD. 4 Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.”
The law of God allowed the substitutionary death of someone whose life was perfect and had sufficient value. That sacrifice had to be a male, without blemish (sin), and offered of his own free will. Jesus met all of these strict requirements. Some of the many requirements that God made for an acceptable sacrifice are described throughout the Old Testament. Jesus met all of these demands.
As all people were made guilty by the sin of one man, Adam, all those who believe in and receive Jesus as the “second Adam” are made righteous.
1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
Jesus has existed forever as the Son of God, who abided in the closest and most intimate place of fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit. These three, being One, were in total agreement that the Son would offer His life as a substitute for the sins of all people, for all time.
Jesus Is Perfect and Without Sin
In order for Jesus to be able to remove our sins and make us as if we had never sinned, He had to be made sin. This is a process of great mystery that occurred during Jesus’ death on the cross. At some point unseen by any mortal being, Jesus had the entire number of all the sins ever committed absorbed into Him. When His death occurred, so also did all of the sins of the world. Jesus was made sin, our sin, so that we could be made righteous by His sacrifice.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
God’s promise is He would appropriate complete righteousness as a result of their trust in what Jesus has done. Justification does not occur until a person believes in Jesus as his Savior personally, after sincere repentance for his sins. God cannot make any person righteous through the legal procedure of Jesus’ death for their sins until that person receives Jesus’ death for their sins personally and absolutely.
Hebrews 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Because we do not understand the severity of sins, we cannot comprehend the importance of a sacrifice required to discharge them. Mankind has lived so long with the presence of sin, that we have become immune to its effects.
The world we observe today is only a mere glimpse of what God originally created.
We see the beauty and complexity of the vast expanse of space, the earth and the microscopic world of the atom, and believe that we have beheld grandeur. Before the fall of man, when sin entered the human race, there was an elegance and perfection within every person that is impossible for any of us to comprehend.
The ancient Hebrew scholars describe the creation of Adam as a moment of great wonder for the angelic world. Many of the angels, in their observation of Adam, believed that he was the Lord of all and were about to worship him before they realized that he was just a man. He was perfect in beauty, righteousness, and wisdom. We have no idea what sin has done to us, or the world in which we live. God has observed the horrors that sin has ravaged upon humankind and the creation that was, in the beginning, good; and He was compelled to redeem it.
Sin was and is such a great travesty, that it required a great remedy. Only the perfect and eternal life of the Son of God was sufficient to satisfy the great requirement of God’s justice against all sin. Only the limitless value of Jesus’ life, as the Creator of all things, could equal and surpass the great number of human sins.
While thinking about this problem of man’s sin and the high cost involved to remove them, I began to run some computations to get an idea of the number of sins committed by people since Adam, in the previous chapter, An Eternal Plan.
If we take an average age of 50 years for all generations of people since Adam, taking into account both higher life spans at the beginning as well as lower life spans up until the 20th century, we can estimate the number of sins committed for all time. Multiplying the sins of each person by the number of persons who have lived on the earth since the first man, we come to the astounding number of a little over 100 Trillion sins.
It was for this great number that Jesus departed heaven, took the form of a man at Bethlehem, and died for us. In doing so, He removed the record of wrong that was against us, to which we had no hope of changing ourselves.
It was Jesus’ blood He shed for us at the cross that paid the price we owed for our sins. To those who choose to believe this, they have their record of wrong expunged, and exist as perfect beings forever.
1 John 1:7 … the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
For those who reject this promise by God, there remains no other way in which they can be saved. These people will stand before God at the Great White Throne judgement, described by Revelation Chapter 20:11, and pay the ultimate penalty for their sins: forfeiture of eternal life with God. If after hearing that only Jesus’ blood and the sacrifice He made for us for our sins is rejected by a person, there remains no other means by which God may save him. This person has insulted God and rejected the Holy Spirit who has come to him with an offer of hope and eternal life.
Hebrews 10:26-29 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
Isaiah 53:11c speaks of the righteous servant who will justify many. Jesus’ death and resurrection is the method of conveyance that God has chosen to remove our sins. We would all be wise to obey the gospel and receive the provision for salvation God has provided for us.