“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.”
the just for the unjust,
One of the great titles of Jesus is the “Just.” Jesus is the “Just” person. As the Just one, he suffers for the “unjust.” His suffering brings cleansing to us when we accept his death on our behalf. Christ’s person qualified him to suffer for sin. 1 Peter 2:22 says Jesus did “no sin.” He suffered for our sins, not his sins.
1 Jn 2:1, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
“For” – instead of or in place of. Jesus’ work was vicarious. He suffered in our place.
Heb. 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”
Jesus took my hell. He died instead of me. He died to pay for my sins, not his. There is no credit to us that Jesus forgave our sins. No glory to us – all glory to him.
The object of Jesus’ sacrifice is to restore our lost relationship with God.
Gal. 1:4-5, “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Co 15:3, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.”
“Unjust” is a title for those without Christ. This means that those without Christ are unjustified. They are not declared right in God’s eyes. They are not forgiven or pardoned. They do not have the benefit of Christ’s death for their sins. They must bear their own sin.
1 Co 6:9, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites.”
Jesus substituted for our place in hell by going to the cross.
This is the substitutionary work of Christ in our place. We should have died on the cross for our sins. Jesus took our place there. The holiness of God demands that he reconcile his perfect righteousness with our sin. Jesus’ death on the cross meets that demand.
Are you unjust? “Un” means no, not, negative. If you do not know that Christ died for your sins, you are a big negative in God’s eyes. What will alert you to your condition? An accident?
If you try to save yourself by operation bootstraps, you insult the integrity of God, who made it clear that only Jesus’ death on the cross can save us from sin. If we try to pay for sin ourselves with our religious pennies, we do not realize that we are totally bankrupt in God’s eyes. In our bank, there are no assets. We have nothing in the checkbook to barter with God.
In God’s bank (Jesus’ death on the cross), we have all the assists we need to hold eternal status before God. Have you come to the place where you are ready to stand solely on the finished work of Christ on the cross for eternal salvation?