My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
1 John 2:1
One Who Speaks in Our Defense
God who created all things made you, me, and all people to be like himself. He created mankind in his own image, and intended for us to be perfectly loving in all our relationships. But we have not shown the same generous attitude as our Maker. We have lived in selfishness, scorning the needs of others. One day soon, each of us will have to give an accounting to the holy God who rightfully demands perfection. How greatly we rejoice to learn that God’s own Son was sent to take our punishment upon himself! Jesus Christ lived that life of love in our place. And he offers to us full and free forgiveness through faith in his name.
But even after we have been washed clean in Holy Baptism, our hearts are still not pure. Even though we know better, we return to those self-destructive attitudes and practices that got us in trouble with God in the first place. What happens then? Do we forfeit forgiveness? Do we lose the salvation that was gained for us by Jesus on the cross? No, our Savior Jesus Christ continues his work for us. After his death he rose again to life and returned to his rightful place in heaven. There he continues his work as our great High Priest—the one who sacrificed his life for us and now speaks to the Father in our defense. But when we sin, Jesus does not point to our good works as if they could somehow cancel out the wrong that we have done. Instead, he reminds the Father of his perfect life of love.
The good works of Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, credited to our account, is all the evidence that we need to be acquitted before the Father.
Lord Jesus, I cling to you as my only hope of standing firm on the day of judgment. Until then, keep me from sin so that I do not bring shame on your holy name. Amen.
The devotions in March on Thursday and Friday focus on the office of Jesus Christ: Prophet, Priest, and King.
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