The death of Christ is reason number one we don’t have to be discouraged over our sin.
The resurrection is reason number two.
The apostle Paul continues, he says “…more than that, who was raised…”
One reason we despair over our sin is because we doubt the efficacy of Christ’s death on the cross.
When you move beyond godly sorrow over sin into ungodly despair or self-pity, when you begin to look at your sin and say to yourself, “I’m just don’t know if Christ could have possibly dealt with this…” it’s as if you are looking at the cross and saying, “Jesus I’m just not sure about what you did.”
The thing is, you may not be sure about what Jesus did, but God the Father is. He’s sure that Christ fully paid the penalty for believer’s sins.
The resurrection proves that.
You could say the resurrection is something like a receipt. In Christ’s death, He paid the penalty for our sin. In Christ’s resurrection, God the Father acknowledged publicly that the debt had been paid. I think that’s part of the point behind Romans 4:25. “He was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.” As we look to the cross the writers of the New Testament say Jesus is paying what you owed. And we’re like he is, that sounds good, is he really? And in the resurrection, it’s as if we receive a receipt from God. Yes, look here, the debt’s been paid.
Another way to put it, would be to say that the resurrection is God stamp of approval on the work of Christ on the cross. It proves Jesus’ work authentic.
I once received an e-mail that claimed to be from Bill Gates. Apparently, according to this e-mail at least, Bill Gates just wants to give away his fortune. And so if I forward this e-mail to so many people, he will pay me so much for every one who receives it.
Now you can tell what I think about that e-mail. I don’t buy it. I would react differently however, if representatives from Microsoft came to my home and presented an offer, and they had a letter from Bill Gates, with an undeniable, authentic, only Bill Gates could do that, stamp of approval.
The apostles, these representatives of Christ, they said some pretty remarkable things about Jesus’ death. I mean we just talked about that. Well we know that when they talked about all the benefits of Christ’s death they weren’t saying more than what was true because Christ’s death had the undeniable, authentic, only God could do that, stamp of approval – the resurrection.
And so as we look at our sin and we look at the future, it’s not as if our hope is based on some sort of fantasy or fairy tale, no it’s based on a historical fact. Christ died and Christ rose again. And by that resurrection, Paul says in Romans 1:4, “…he was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead…”
Sometimes when it comes to the gospel, people are like well that sounds wonderful, I would to believe my sins are forgiven, but I can’t, I need more proof. Well, no, no, no. In the resurrection, it is as if God is standing right next to their ear with a megaphone and He is shouting out or declaring loudly, “Jesus is the Son of God! His Work is for real!”
And as a believer, sometimes we can get discouraged by the fact that we still struggle with sin and we feel so unworthy, and we are like man can the cross really deal with all my sin? Well, when you are beginning to get discouraged by your sin, you need to take that sin and go to the tomb. And you need to ask yourself, “Do I really believe that Jesus rose from the dead?”
Because if you do, and you can go to 1 Corinthians 15 for this, you can say, if Jesus did rise from the dead, I know that I’m going to be raised from the dead. I know that I have this incredible future hope. I know that my faith is based on reality. And I know that I’m not in my sins anymore.
And when your sin is like man you don’t deserve to go to heaven, God is constantly upset with you, you have no hope. You can be like, man I know I don’t deserve to go to heaven, but I also know that I have peace with God, and I have hope, because Jesus died and Jesus rose again. Sin, his death and his resurrection took care of you. So I’ll be sad about you, but I’m not going to despair.
No matter how unrighteous you feel, there’s no reason to be discouraged. Because the resurrection proves that Jesus paid the penalty of every believer’s sin on the cross.