SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20 | ROMANS 8:1-4
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
When Jesus died on the cross, he took on himself all of our sins against God and against people. He was punished by the religious establishment, the state, and God, so “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
And it is because of Christ’s death that every believer has the capacity to change. Jesus’ condemnation frees us to become like him. A person living on death row cannot live like a free person. He may become a better person in some ways, but as long as he lives behind bars awaiting death, he cannot live free. He cannot come and go as he pleases, doing the things people can do in free society. Condemnation robs him of freedom.
Many people live as condemned prisoners, even though they aren’t behind bars. They cannot change because of the prison of their past. They cannot move ahead with their lives because of the chains of guilt and shame that hold them. As Dostoyevsky showed in his novel Crime and Punishment, some people are paralyzed by the fear of being discovered and punished for their crimes.
Do you live in that kind of prison of guilt and fear? As long as you do, you will not be able to change your life and become like Jesus. But that’s exactly why Jesus died. He suffered condemnation because he wanted to save you from it and set you free to live a new life.
Are you living that life of freedom in Christ Jesus today?
—WRITTEN BY STAN MAST. TODAY Lent 2021 Devotional