Sermon for Saturday

Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Romans 4:25

At 2 o’clock in the morning of October 12, 1492, a sailor named Rodrigo de Triana aboard the vessel Pinta saw land on the horizon. It was the first sighting of land in the Americas by a European since the Viking crew of Leif Eriksson saw Newfoundland and the Maritimes almost 500 years earlier. Rodrigo de Triana was one of 87 men who made the journey from Spain to the Americas under the leadership of Christopher Columbus. There were 20 sailors aboard the Nina, 25 others beside Rodrigo de Triana on the Pinta, and 41 on Columbus’ flagship, the Santa MarĂ­a. 87 men could vouch for the fact that the Columbus expedition of 1492 discovered the Americas. So nobody is disputing what happened, with all those witnesses. It is rather important, but not critical to us today, that it was Columbus who made the discovery and that Rodrigo de Triana was the sailor who first saw the land. But it is critical to us today that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, because, as our text indicates, our justification depends on it. Thank God that we have far more witnesses to the resurrection than Columbus had for his discovery.

No man or woman actually saw Jesus come forth from the tomb. But many saw Him after his resurrection. The apostle Paul gives us some idea of the number in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8: ‘And that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve. After that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, He was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.’ None of the evidence of any of these witnesses has ever been refuted. Based on this evidence, we can be certain of our justification. Why is this important?

We know and appreciate that it was by His death on the cross that the Lord Jesus paid for our sins. Because God punished Him, the innocent One, He can grant forgiveness to us the guilty, and can apply Jesus’ innocence to us. The fact that Jesus was raised after He died showed that God’s justice had been satisfied. Jesus has paid the full price for our sin and has been released from death. The proof that He was raised from the dead establishes the proof of God’s satisfaction with His sacrifice.

Christ arose! We are justified! Hallelujah! -Jim MacIntosh

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