Jesus did not keep the Law for you. Justification happens by faith, not by deeds of the Law. If righteousness came by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
We are justified by faith in His blood.
“Jesus took the penalty of the law for me” is another phrase people say, that, I don’t know.
I don’t want to be that guy, I really don’t. That Guy who always has to argue and be right about everything. I don’t want to be the cause of division, nor do I want to just be the cranky guy in the corner muttering to himself about all those below him.
What I do desire is to speak rightly about the Gospel.
Christ did not take the penalty of the law for you. The penalty of the law is death, which ultimately means separation from God. When a person dies who has not been made right with God, eternal separation from God is the result.
Christ, even if He did say “My God why have you forsaken me?” was not and is not eternally separated from God. Never has been; never will be.
Christ was made two things for us:
Because Christ was made sin, He had to, at the same time, be made a curse. The wages of sin is death. Christ was made sin, so Christ must die. He was made a curse for us.
This does not mean Christ took the penalty of the law for us. Hear me out.
Christ died, this was the curse of the law. “Don’t eat from that tree, the day you eat of it you will surely die.” Disobeying the One who gives us life has to result in death.
But Christ didn’t stay dead! He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
When Christ rose again, He showed He had power over death, which shows He has power over sin.
OK. Here’s the deal!
Christ died because He was made sin for us and the curse of sin is death. But after He died, He got back up. His resurrection shows He has power over death, which shows He has power over sin, which ultimately shows He has power over the LAW!
See it?! This is the coolness of the Gospel.
Christ didn’t just take away the penalty of the law, Christ took away the thing that penalized you! He took away the Law itself!
The Law condemns us. No amount of mind-games makes you not an offender of the law, in whatever sense you want to take “law.” You violated God’s will, God’s standards. What we need, is not someone who takes our punishment, what we need is someone to remove what makes the punishment necessary!
Being made righteous, being justified, is not because Christ took your penalty and substituted His law-keeping for you.
No, we are made righteous because the thing that pointed out our unrighteousness was done away with.
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”
Christ, the spotless sacrifice, was made sin for us and was made a curse for us. He died. But He got back up! Conquering death, conquering sin, because ultimately, He conquered the Law–the ministration of death.
The lawgiver submitted to His own law, keeping it fully, and yet still being made a curse for His rebellious creation. This is a great demonstration of love, grace and mercy, but even more, it was victory over sin that we desperately need. Faith in Him is the only means of justification.
Christ is our only hope.