December 17, 2016
Read: Romans 3:21–26
Bible in a Year: Amos 7–9; Revelation 8
Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.—Psalm 32:1
When talking about faith in Jesus, we sometimes use words without understanding or explaining them. One of those words is righteous. We say that God has righteousness and that He makes people righteous, but this can be a tough concept to grasp.
The way the word righteousness is pictured in the Chinese language is helpful. It is a combination of two characters. The top word is lamb. The bottom word is me. The lamb covers or is above the person.
When Jesus came to this world, John the Baptist called Him “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). We need our sin taken care of because it separates us from God whose character and ways are always perfect and right. Because His love for us is great, God made His Son Jesus “who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus, the Lamb, sacrificed Himself and shed His blood. He became our “cover.” He makes us righteous, which places us in right relationship with God.
Being right with God is a gift from Him. Jesus, the Lamb, is God’s way to cover us. —Anne Cetas
Dear Lord, thank You for dying on the cross for me and covering my sins so that I can have a relationship with You.
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The only permanent covering for sin is the blood of Christ.
INSIGHT: Christ made the covering for our sins (Rom. 4:7) so that our sins “will never count against” us (v. 8). It is as if Christ absorbed all the terrible consequences of our sins, allowing believers, through union with Christ in his death and resurrection, to be raised to new life. Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement or covering), which is ten days after the Jewish New Year, is considered by many the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar. This furnishes some background for the New Testament’s doctrine of atonement. The only fitting response to Christ’s self-giving and amazing grace is thanksgiving. Jim Townsend
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