Matthew 12: 1-8….At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” 3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? 6 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’[a] you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even[b] of the Sabbath.” This word of God speaks to working on the Sabbath. The religious leaders of the day challenged Jesus regarding his disciples working in the grain fields on the Sabbath. Jesus response was to remind the Pharisees that it was in the law of the Jews that David ate the showbread which was unlawful for him to eat as well as the priest who profaned the Sabbath and was blameless. Jesus here did establish his authority saying that the Son of Man is Lord even over the Sabbath.
Before we actually get into the question of whether we are justified in Christ, let’s first get a real understanding of what it means to be justified. Justified by definition means to prove to be just or right. The biblical definition is almost the same except Jesus has given us acquittal for our sins as well as any works or deeds we did in His name. In the above scripture, the disciples didn’t respond to the Pharisees. Christ had already responded to them. Jesus told the Pharisees that His disciples had a need and were hungry and it was up to Jesus to fulfill that need. Jesus told the religious leaders of the day that He was all powerful. Jesus made it clear the Pharisees that He trumped the Sabbath, the disciple’s works, the law, as well as all the days. Jesus expressed to the religious leaders of the day that they need to recognize who they were talking to. Jesus justified mankind when he died on the cross for our sins. So we don’t have to make excuses for anything we do that was wrong or anything we may do in His name. We are made righteous through our belief in Christ. We all have been justified through our belief that Christ shed his blood for all our sins regardless of what they were.
Let’s get into how we are justified through Christ. In the above scripture, the disciples started this debate between Jesus and the Pharisees when they started to pluck the heads of grains to eat on the Sabbath. It states in Exodus 16: 23-30…. 23 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’” 24 So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. 25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.” 27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. 28 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? 29 See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day. This is why the Pharisees criticized the disciples for plucking the heads of grains on the Sabbath because it went against the custom of keeping the Sabbath holy. Jesus responded by point out to them that they couldn’t criticize His disciples when the Pharisees themselves performed duties on the Sabbath. The response he made in defense of his disciples justified His disciples because two wrongs don’t make a right. The point Jesus was making was how the Pharisees can accuse the disciples of working on the Sabbath when they also worked on the Sabbath. The custom was meant for all the people of Israel.
There are other examples where Jesus has justified sinners. In John 8:1-12…. But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.2 Now early[a] in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him, and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded[c] us that such should be stoned.[d] But what do You say?”[e] 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[f] 7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[g] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.” 12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Jesus acquitted this woman of her sin of adultery by the Jewish law this woman should have been stoned but Jesus asserted his authority over the law because in reality the Pharisees, as well as the town folks, were not without sin. Isn’t it wonderful Jesus has the power to justify us regardless of any of our sins?
Another example where Jesus can justify us even after his death in concerning Paul in Acts 26: 9-18… 9 “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities. 12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now[a] send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Paul was a murderer of the Jewish people yet still, Jesus justified Paul through his crucified blood that was shed for us on the cross.
Now back to the question ‘Are we justified through Christ?’ The answer is, of course, we are justified through Christ. Jesus has authority over all this day, our life, our problems as well as our sins. We are justified through Jesus blood, grace, and mercy. You don’t have to worry about any sin you have committed if you believe that Jesus died for mankind’s sin. To the non-believer, all you have to do is believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and Jesus can justify you in any situation you may encounter. To put in a more practical manner whether you are a Christian or not no one has the right condemn or judge you for anything. The reason is you know that there is not a person on earth who is perfect (meaning not having to do any wrong in their life) so knowing this they have no rights in condemning you for any sin because they are sinners themselves. It’s like having a moral double standard I am going to judge you for your sins when I have probably done the same thing myself.
Why is this important to the Christian or us? We will all face problems and will commit sins in our lives. Whether it is a crime in our society or not anyone I believe deserves to be forgiven for their mistakes in their lives. Everyone deserves to be given a second chance to correct their wrongs and set things right for the things or people they have wrong. I don’t believe in capital punishment (meaning putting a person to death for a crime of murder) because I don’t think a man has the right to take a human life. I don’t have to be a Christian to believe that but as a Christian I as well as all Christian should hate the sin not the sinner (meaning the one who committed the sin). I do believe in justice in our society if you commit a crime you should be punished for that crime. Even the word of God says that man will reap what he sows. So I don’t my belief against capital punishment taken the wrong way. I am only questioning the method we in society punish people who commit murder. Regardless, of what sin we have committed most people believe everyone deserves a second chance. You are justified through Christ of that second chance to make things right in your life. I submitted a gospel video that speaks to this very topic enjoy the video. Always remember to Keep the Faith and God loves you and So Do I!!
What do you think?
Written by Kofi Baruti
Your comments are welcome!!!