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THE PASCHAL MYSTERY SAVES US
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Monday, 29th Week of the Year, October 21, 2013
Rom. 4:19-25, Luke 1, Luke 12:13-21


"Who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification" (Rom. 4:25).


"Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3). He "was put to death for our trespasses" (Rom. 4:25). For this he came into the world. He came to die for our sins. He came to be the only adequate sacrifice capable of absolving our sins, of expiating them, of propitiating divine justice for them, and of placating the wrath of God against us on account of our sins (Rom. 1:18; 5:9). So it is, for there is no other sacrifice capable of removing our sins and saving us from our guilt, "for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins" (Heb. 10:4). Therefore with his death Christ "entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption" (Heb. 9:12). "So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many" (Heb. 9:28 NKJV).


We are all under the curse of the law because we are all sinners. "‘Cursed be every one who does not abide by all the things written in the book of the law, and do them'" (Gal. 3:10; Deut. 27:26). But "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, ‘Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree'--" (Gal. 3:13; Deut. 21:23). Christ, who bore our sins in his body on the cross and suffered the punishment for them, bore the curse of the law for us. Christ "was put to death for our trespasses" (Rom. 4:25) in order to bear the curse and punishment required by the law that we should have borne for our sins. Satisfying the justice of God for us by dying for our sins according to the demands of the law instead of us, he freed us from sin and guilt, when we put our faith in him.


In doing this Christ fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah. "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isa. 53:5 KJV). "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:6 KJV).


In this way the death of Christ makes righteous all who believe in him. His death satisfied the justice of God and made just and complete reparation for all our sins. As all fell in the sin of Adam, so are all made righteous through this act of Christ if they believe in him. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous" (Rom. 5:19).


Then Christ was "raised for our justification" (Rom. 4:25). His resurrection completed the work of his death and showed that it succeeded in its objective and was accepted by God as a propitiation for our sins. Since his resurrection, all who believe in him are justified with all their sins forgiven and their guilt removed. And for us who now walk in the light of his resurrection, the righteousness of Christ himself shines within us. Indeed, he was "raised for our justification" (Rom. 4:25).

 

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