Christ Jesus is the One Who Died
“Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
– Romans 8:34
If you’re reading these words, you – like me – are a sinner.
Today, you – like me – have already committed enough sin (i.e., one) to condemn you to hell. The angry thoughts, the selfish motives, the loveless responses, the idolatrous wants of the heart…and that short list doesn’t even break the surface of our skin, they were visible only to us and to God. If a house is burnt to the ground it doesn’t need new paint, it needs to be re-made. In the same way, let us start by admitting that the “house” of our internal selves – left to itself – is a heap of hopeless ash.
But what does this verse say? “Who is to condemn?” The question is asked concerning Christians. Who is to condemn the one who has thrown themselves with faith-filled desperation on Jesus Christ? The implied answer is “no one.”
What? No one, not even God, will ultimately condemn the man or woman hidden in Christ? That’s right. And – hear me loud and clear on this – it is not because Christians do not sin! The most grace-filled saint on this planet has enough sin broiling in their heart over the course of one hour to destroy the world three times over….Christians hate sin, but they are still sinners.
Then the question is, “How?” How can a sinner hiding in Christ be free from condemnation? The answer comes after the question mark:
“Christ Jesus is the one who died…”
In other words, our sins deserve death – eternal death – but, glory to God, Christ Jesus has died our death in our place. The holy inferno of God’s justice will consume sin and sinners for eternity….but for the Christian, that inferno has been devoured by Christ on the cross and extinguished by His divine and outpoured blood. Our sin demands death….and,
“Christ Jesus is the one who died.”
But the passage doesn’t end there, if it did we would be hopeless, anchored to a dead savior. But Christ is not dead. He has been raised, and in His resurrection, God declares to all of creation that the work of Christ is sufficient, that He alone is the Rock – cleft by justice and mercy – in whom sinners can hide and be saved.
And notice, it doesn’t end there either, even as I type, the living Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God, interceding for us. And what is His intercession? Certainly, we will sing for 10,000 years as we consider all that Christ’s intercession achieved in this life….but one thing we can be sure of is that His intercession includes the display of His wounds. Christian, we should hate sin….however, whenever I sin, whenever you sin, the living Jesus Christ stands as our advocate in heaven and holds up His wounded hands as a declaration that the price for our sin is paid – we are His and we are safe…..
So when the Great Accuser whispers – or perhaps screams – in our ears, “He hates you, God is disappointed with you, you are a sinner, you will be damned!” Let us look to Christ….Christ who holds up His hands – His wounded hands – in blessing to us and rebuke to the Accuser….we are His and we are safe and no one will condemn God’s elect who have thrown themselves on Christ…why?
“Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”