The death of Jesus is set in a scene where he is hanging between two criminals and with a group of people watching him being crucified. All three of them are being condemned to death, punished by the law, determined by the authorities and now witnessed by the people.
As I was reading this passage last night I remembered something–Of the three hanging there, Jesus is the only innocent one. As a matter of fact, Jesus is the only innocent one in all of Jerusalem that day. Yet as he hung there, being condemned by the laws of people, this revelation hit me:
If you are righteous before God, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says about you.
Even though Jesus was condemned by the laws of humanity, before God, his identity was secure, and he was blameless and innocent. He was completely righteous before God. And if he was righteous before God, then no one could say otherwise.
No one could say otherwise, even though they flogged him. No one could say otherwise even if they made him march through Jerusalem carrying a cross. No one could say otherwise if even if they nailed him to that cross. And no one could say otherwise even if they watched him die hanging on that very cross–Jesus was absolutely and irrevocably righteous before God. And no one…could say otherwise.
It is amazing to be righteous before God. Because you realize that the opinions of others on your life, when put on a scale don’t mean that much. And that no one can blame or fault us beyond what God has blamed or faulted us for.
May we live fearing only the opinion of God on our lives, and rejoice in the truth that he delights in us and empowers us to live righteously.