Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at
the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (Romans 8:34)
On April 18, 1521, Martin Luther was ushered before the leaders of the Holy Roman Empire and was given the opportunity to recant of his “heresies” against the church. He was being condemned by the church for his writings and was brought before the throne to answer for his words. Luther responded that his conscience was bound by the Holy Scriptures and that he would not recant, ending with his famous words, “Here I stand, I can do no other.”
Luther could only stand before the condemnation at Diet of Worms because One had already been condemned for him and was standing before the throne of God interceding for him. Jesus was condemned as a sinner, was crucified, dead and buried. On the third day, He was raised in resurrection power and ascended to the right hand of God. The ascension of Christ gives us confidence on our day of judgment because the Scriptures declare that Jesus now stands to always intercede for his people with his blood. His blood ensures that we can no longer be condemned by God because our debt has been paid.
We have to make the reality of the ascension true to our own hearts. There are days we will be condemned by our enemies, our friends, our families and even our own consciences, but those who are in Christ will never face condemnation because Jesus died, rose again, and is at the right hand of God. Our greatest Advocate is in place of the greatest power. Truly, who is to condemn? The condemnation of the world can do nothing to those who have received the commendation from Almighty God in the person of Jesus Christ.
When we feel condemned we must say to our hearts that we can stand because we know that our Savior is standing in front of us, which is why we can sing those words of the great hymn of the faith, “Bearing shame and scoffing rude / In my place condemned He stood / Sealed my pardon with His blood. Hallelujah! What a Savior!”
Read those last words again, “In my place condemned He stood. Sealed my pardon with His blood.” The more we grasp of the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, we can indeed sing, “Hallelujah! What a Savior!” Jesus ascended to intercede for us, prepare a place for us and to send us His Spirit to guide us deeper into the truth of the gospel. Hallelujah! What a Savior!!!
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