RESURRECTION BECAUSE OF OUR JUSTIFICATION
It is wonderful that Romans 3 tells us that we are justified freely through the blood of the Lord Jesus and that Romans 4 follows by telling us that because we are justified, the Lord Jesus was resurrected (v. 25). His death is the basis of our justification, while His resurrection is the proof of our justification. Since He died, we are justified; since we are justified, He resurrected. We are justified before God because of His death, and He was resurrected because of our justification. His resurrection is God’s proof to us that His blood is able to justify us. Suppose someone were to ask if His blood is effective or not. There is no way to see the blood. We cannot see the blood at all because the blood was put on the side posts and the upper post of the door (Exo. 12:7). It was brought into the Holy of Holies and put in the place of atonement for sin (Lev. 16:14-15). It was only for God to see. We only know about the redemption of the Lord Jesus. We do not know how the blood of the Lord Jesus has satisfied God’s demand. No matter how much we know, we will never be clear about this matter. In the whole universe, only One knows the full value of the Lord’s blood, and this One is God. God knows in full the value of the Lord Jesus’ blood. We only know it in part. We will never know it by our mind, our prayer, or our wisdom. We do not know why the blood of the Lord Jesus washes away all our sins. We can only say that He has died for us and for our sins. We still do not know the value of the Lord’s work on the cross. However, God knows this value. How does God show that the work of His Son is of great value? How does God show that the propitiation sacrifice of His Son has indeed propitiated us? He shows it by giving us the resurrection as a proof. Resurrection proves that He is satisfied with the cross. In resurrection, God is saying that He has approved the cross and that the cross has passed the test. Now God is presenting resurrection as an evidence. We are justified. Therefore, the Lord Jesus resurrected. Because God saw that the work of the Lord had fulfilled all the righteous requirements of God, everyone who comes to God is now justified. Since God is satisfied, the Lord Jesus resurrected.
The illustration that we have given may not be very good. Let me give you a more accurate illustration. Let us not say that I owe money. Let us say instead that I have sinned. In this case a brother is not going to plead for me. Instead he will bear my punishment, if there is such a thing in law as bearing others’ punishment. I have sinned and should be put in jail for three months or confined to manual labor for two or three months. But I have brain disease, heart disease, a lung problem, a kidney disorder, and all kinds of other sicknesses. However, this brother is very healthy and is willing to be my substitute. When will I know that my case is over? I should be the one to go to jail. But he has gone in my place. Although I have not spent one day in jail and although I am staying peacefully at home and can conduct my business as usual, as long as he is in jail, my heart is still not at ease. I am worried that one day the judge may say that he cannot be my substitute and that I have to come myself. It is not until the day that he is released and walking on the street that I know that my case is over. If my case was not yet over, he would not have been released. The Lord Jesus has died for us. But we do not know what God has to say about this. I know that the Lord has come to redeem us from sin. But how do I know that God will acknowledge this way of redemption as proper? I do not know if the Lord’s redemption is adequate or proper. I do not know if the redemptive work of the Lord has been fully settled. But since the Lord came out from death, I realize that everything has been taken care of.
(Gospel of God, The (2 volume set), Chapter 7, by Watchman Nee)