Yesterday morning, Resurrection Day, we awoke to a fresh blanket (3″) of “beautiful” white snow, a reminder of what was accomplished for us on that day nearly 2,000 years ago when Jesus arose from the dead as evidence that our sins had been paid for and, as the Psalmist David put it, we have been “washed whiter than snow” (Psa. 51:17).
The Apostle Paul, in writing to the believers at Rome, spoke of “the righteousness of God (which comes) through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration I say of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus…He was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of (or “on the basis of”) our justification” (Ro. 3:22-26; 4:25). As proof that God’s holiness was satisfied (“propitiated”) by the sacrifice Christ made on the cross, in shedding His blood for our sins, God raised Him from the dead.
The “gospel” (“good news”) as Paul defined it in I Cor. 15:1-4, includes not only the death of Christ, but His burial and resurrection. The gospel isn’t just that Jesus died for you, but that Jesus died for you, was buried and rose again on the third day, just as He had prophesied. The resurrection is evidence that our redemption was complete and that our sins were “paid for in full,” so that all who trust in Christ’s finished work at Calvary are saved from sin’s penalty and have eternal life in Christ.
The scene at Calvary presents a vivid picture of how Jesus died for “all” which includes Jew and Gentile, male and female, bond and free, wicked, evil sinners like the criminal on the cross who repented and “good” people like Jesus’ own mother. The only one who ever lived who didn’t need a Savior was obviously Jesus Himself, who did not sin but was punished for our sin (Isa. 53:6; II Cor. 5:21; I Pet. 2:24). Some people think they are too bad to be saved and others think they are too good. Don’t let the good things or the bad things you have done keep you out of heaven! Eph. 2:1 says that we are ALL spiritually “dead in trespasses and sins,” and there are no “degrees of deadness!” John writes, “He who has the Son has the life, and He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (I Jn. 5:12). All of us, whether hardened criminals or good, upstanding citizens, need Jesus. Salvation is a gift, not a reward. It is nothing we can earn and we certainly don’t deserve it. Gifts must be received. Without Jesus, we are dead (separated from God) and will spend eternity apart from Him in hell, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:12,13).
So, to each of us, God says, “Come now, and let us reason together. Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they will be like wool” (Isa. 1:18). “Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole; I want You forever to live in my soul; break down ev’ry idol, cast out ev’ry foe–Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow” (William G. Fischer…Whiter Than Snow).