Jesus' death should lead to your own daily dying. Yes, Jesus died as a substitute for sinners, and that work is your hope of salvation. But Jesus did not die only to justify the wicked. His death is also designed to lead you in your own daily dying and living.
Peter says that Jesus died for our sins so that we would die to our sins. Jesus died for our sins by suffering the wrath of God in the place of sinners. By his wounds we are healed. Through the suffering of the righteous one, the wicked are justified. You, Christian, are justified. But his death should lead you in dying, as well. You die to your sins and live to righteousness through the ongoing work of faith and repentance.
What is it to die to sin?
- To die to sin is to deny its influence and to recognize that sin is powerless over you.
- To recognize your corruption and identify your temptations while resting in the deliverance God has provided through the sacrifice of Jesus.
- To know you are no longer a slave, and sin is your master no more.
- As you die to sin (recognizing and living in the reality that Jesus has set you free) you can live to righteousness. To live to righteousness is to follow Christ in holiness and to grow in grace.
The death of Jesus is not just what cleanses you of guilt, but it is also the means by which you experience transformation. Your progress in the faith, your sanctification, is not a result of will power or education, but the consequence of Christ’s atoning work. That is your confidence and hope. You can die to sin because he has died for your sin. You can live unto righteousness because Jesus has risen from the dead and in him you are now truly alive! Today is a day to die and to live.
This article is adapted from Note to Self by Joe Thorn.