“First, then, dear friends, our forgiveness comes from the death of Christ: “Who was delivered for our offenses.” There is no pardon of sin apart from Christ being delivered for our offenses. Of late I have heard things that I never dreamed of before, alleged even by professedly Christian ministers against the fundamental doctrines of God’s Word; and some have even dared to say that the substitution of Christ, His suffering in our place, was not just. Then they have added that God forgives sin without any atonement whatever, but, if the first is not just, what shall I say of the second? If God continually forgives sin without taking any care of His moral government, if there is nothing done for the vindication of His justice, how shall the Judge of all the earth do right? Then, the very foundations of the universe would be removed, and what would the righteous do? Depend upon this, whatever modern philosophy may say, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins,” that is to say, without an atonement, and an Atonement consisting of the giving up of a life of infinite value, there is no passing by of human transgression.
But I find, next, we are told that being thus saved from sin by Christ’s death, we are justified by His resurrection: “Who was raised again for our justification.” What does this mean? I sometimes tell you that Jesus Christ was put in the prison of the grave as a Hostage for us. He had paid our debt, but He must wait in the grave till the certificate that the debt was paid was registered in the court of heaven. That being done for three days and nights—roughly so styled, but very short all of them—down flew the bright messenger from heaven, bearing the writ and warrant that the Hostage must go free, for the debt was paid, and the whole liability was discharged. Then the stone was rolled away; and when the angel had rolled it away, what did he do? He went and sat down upon it. It always seems to me that, when the angel sat down there, he seemed to say, “Now, death and hell, roll the stone back if you can;” but they could not. The keepers fled far away, and Jesus Christ Himself came out to newness of life; and now both the sinner and his Substitute are cleared, the captive and the Hostage are both set free, he that owed the debt is cleared by his Substitute, and the Substitute Himself is cleared, for He has paid all that infinite justice could demand, and He has received a clean bill of deliverance. Thus He comes forth out of durance vile, raised from the dead by His Father’s hand. That resurrection is your justification. Now, just look at this matter for a minute in another way. Suppose that Jesus Christ had never risen, and I were to tell you that He had made a complete atonement, and died for our sins, but that He was still dead, and in that grave; why, if you believed the message, you would always be troubled! You could not feel any confidence in a dead Christ; you would say, “He sees corruption, yet the true Christ was never to see corruption. He is dead; and what can a dead Christ do for us?” Beloved, the dying Christ has purchased for us our justification, but the risen Christ will see that we get it. The risen Christ has come to bring it to us, and herein we rest. Oh, that you would all rest in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, which is set forth to you in all its brightness by His rising again from the dead! Put the two parts of our text together, “Who was delivered for our offenses,” “and was raised again for our justification.” You need them both; trust in them both; trust in the Savior who died upon the cross, and trust in the Christ who rose again, and is now the living Christ; trust, in fact, in Christ as He revealed Himself to John in Patmos: “I am He that lives, and was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Lord Jesus, as such we trust You, as such we trust You now, and we are saved!"
-C.H. Spurgeon British Prince of Preachers 1834-1892