Righteousness, being right with God. I was reading in my Spurgeon devotional this morning about how Jesus’s agony on the cross at the time God turned His face to Jesus was far more agonizing than the hardships of life we face. Spurgeon says “We distress over what feels like a slight turning away from our Father’s love from us but God actually did turn His face away from His Son.”
Spurgeon goes on to reference Philippians 3:10 where Paul says he wants to know Jesus and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. Paul desires to know everything about Jesus, including his dying in the cross and the agony that went with it. I believe in order to know someone we have to know them in the good times and the bad.
The bit that caught me though was the verse just before this. Verse 9 says “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” Paul realized that it was only through a real and living relationship and faith in Jesus could he be made right with God. Paul says before this that essentially nothing else mattered and that all other things were garbage compared to being found and living in Jesus.
Our pastor yesterday preached on why Jesus had to die on the cross. The first reason he gave was that we needed to be rescued. From the time of the first sin our being made right with God was taken away so there had to be a plan put in place to fix this. Also, and to the point Paul is making, Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. See, the OT sacrifices just covered up sin, nothing actually took away the sin. But Jesus’s death on the cross actually took away our sins so we could be right with God and actually be in His presence. Jesus endured the agony of being outside of God’s presence so that we could have opportunity to be in God’s presence, any time we wanted and not just once a year by one person.
I remember watching the movie the Passion and seeing Jesus being flogged and thinking why are they beating Him so much, then I realized the flogging was the sin of the world on His back. My sin on His back!
I love Easter and what it means to us as believers. I love going to church on Sundays and have found my desire to worship growing more and more, but especially love going to church on Easter Sunday.
I hope this Easter you take time to really reflect why we celebrate Easter and ponder what Jesus did so we could celebrate it. And not just in Sunday, but starting on Thursday night when the passover happened and He started the process of making us right with Him.