When contemplating our Salvation, that God has saved us and given us Eternal Life, we tend to think of it as having been wrought through Jesus’ Crucifixion; “I have been crucified with Christ…” (Gal 2:20).
The Lord Jesus Christ, Who lived a perfect and sinless life, willingly took upon Himself all our sin; in fact, the Word tells us that God the Father caused Him to actually ‘be’ sin for us: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2Cor 5:21).
Most Believers and even nominal Christians will give assent to “Jesus died for our sins.” But when we focus solely on the Cross, we tend to miss the full meaning of all that Jesus Christ has done for us.
His Resurrection. Before we were born again, yes, we were ‘sinners,’ but our sin was simply the result of our deeper problem… we were spiritually dead. Jesus’ Crucifixion would have meant nothing if its purpose was only to pay the penalty of our sin. “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1Cor 15:16-19).
The first step in understanding our full Salvation is in recognizing the absolute importance of the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross and that His shed blood washed away all our sin. But then, we must also see the cruciality of His Resurrection. We were all dead in Adam, but we were raised to Life in Jesus Christ; we are now ‘sons of the Resurrection’: “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection'” (Luke 20:34-36).
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Rom 5:10).
In Christ, we were crucified with Him and then raised up to new life, Everlasting Life. In the Cross, we were forgiven; the full penalty for our sin was paid. In the Resurrection, we were raised to Eternal Life in Christ.
Our new life is not only in Jesus Christ but, in fact, He is our life: “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Col 3:3-4).
As long as Jesus Christ lives… we will live… and that is forever as we rule and reign with Him. Of our Eternal home, New Jerusalem, John writes, “There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they [we] shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 22:5).
“But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb 7:24-25).
But there is even more that the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us. Some will say, ‘Sure, Jesus died for our sins and paid for our Salvation, but it’s important that we continue in the faith, doing our part, walking like a good Christian.’
Not only are we saved by His Crucifixion and Resurrection, but also as important, we are saved by His Life. From the time of His miraculous conception to His birth and through all of His growing years into adulthood: through His childhood, His teen years, His twenties, and on until His Crucifixion at the age of 33, He lived a perfect and sinless human life on Earth. He obeyed His mother and ‘stepfather’ in all things, and even more important, He obeyed all the Law of Moses. He fulfilled all the Law and Prophets up to and through the moment of His physical death on the Cross when He said, “It is finished!” or “It is fulfilled!”
The Word and the Law were written with intent; it was meant to be fulfilled.
The prophets and their prophecies were meant to be fulfilled… some have been while others await their fulfillment; the Law was also given with the intent that it be, in the Messiah, fulfilled; It was completely fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly life.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matt 5:17-18).
Then, on the Cross He said, “It is finished” or, “It is fulfilled!” It is the very same Greek word for both.
If the Lord Jesus Christ did not completely fulfill the Law during His earthly life and ministry, when would He have done so?
He was our substitute for our punishment, for our resurrection to Eternal Life, and for perfectly fulfilling all the Law for us. Because He fulfilled the Law completely for us, we are no longer under the Law. It’s as if we, ourselves, fulfilled the Law perfectly ‘in Him.’
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:3-4).
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom 10:4).
“But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Gal 3:23-25).
So many desperately try to claim that it is incumbent upon us to ‘keep the Law’ when the fact is, no one could ever keep the Law; only the Lord Jesus Christ could and did.
Why would we be commanded to do something which is impossible?
Jesus Christ came to finish and fulfill the Old Covenant and to establish the New Covenant.
His entire earthly life and ministry directly fulfilled every Messianic prophecy and fulfilled all the Law. His death fulfilled all the sacrificial Law, and His resurrection proved He was, in fact, God Almighty. His earthly Life fulfilled the Law for and in us. His death was for us; we died with Him, and His Resurrection was for us as we were raised with Him to Life Eternal.
Finally, when He returns for us in the clouds to call us up to Himself, our full and final redemption will have been accomplished as He, in a moment, changes our physical earthly bodies into glorified Eternal bodies fit to enter Heaven and the New Jerusalem. Then we will, like Him, be at home in the physical realm as well as the spiritual realm. Then we will see into every realm which God opens up for us, and we shall finally know as we are known.
“And in this mountain The Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of fine, aged wines, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined, aged wines. And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 25:6-8).
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:51-57).
Now, we eagerly await His return for us: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body…” (Phpp 3:20).
Look at that verse again… “Heaven, from which we wait…” Our spirits are, even now, in Heaven with Him; our spirits understand what awaits us in our full redemption. Our spirits know to wait eagerly.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:4-7).
Our full redemption began in Eternity past when God knew us, chose us for His Son, set His love upon us, and set in motion His Eternal Plan to glorify Himself as He purposed, in His Son – to save us, to fully redeem us and to glorify us, as His sons and daughters, princes and princesses fit to rule and reign with Him first for 1,000 years during His Kingdom on Earth and then for Eternity throughout all of His Creation.
Look for Him; wait eagerly for Him. “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:2).