In our U.S. form of government we have a “representative” system. Men and women are elected in several districts and states and those elected people are to “represent” the needs and desires of the citizens in those districts.
In our justice system a defense attorney is described at “representing” a defendant. He is there to put forward the best interests of his client. He speaks for the client to the judge and jury.
All of us are familiar with the concept of “misrepresentation”. This is most often a lie with elements of truth to make it look true. Sadly, sometimes our elected representatives only look out for their own self interests and not ours. They “misrepresent” us when they do.
From the Bible we learn that in the spiritual realm too we have representatives.
Our First Representative was Adam
12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. (Romans 12:5-14)
45Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:45-49)
In Adam, sin and death, In Christ life and immortality
In Adam, condemnation, In Christ NO condemnation
In Adam, unrighteousness, In Christ, made righteous
In Adam, guilty, In Christ, NOT GUILTY
God’s law is still in effect. It is good, righteous, and holy. It is to be kept. Our shared problem is that it must be kept perfectly and we can’t do it. How then, in view of the law, our guilt of not keeping it, and it’s penalty, do we have any hope in God?
Jesus Christ acting as our representative, perfectly kept it.
Jesus perfectly obeyed all the demands of the law to the very last exclamation point. He always did what the law said he should do and he always avoided what the law prohibited. And, he did it for us as our representative.
when Christ came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;
6in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
7Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’
Jesus not only came to live perfectly as our representative, but
Jesus came to die as our representative.
Paul says in Colossians 2:13-14 that because we have been brought out of death into life with Christ the record of debt (law) that was against us has been set aside, nailed to the cross. One who is dead is not subject to any law. We died with Christ and that death freed us from the demands and penalties of the law. This is explained in great detail in the following passage from Romans.
1Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:1-6)
Just as a widow has been released from her marriage with all of its obligations and duties, since we died with Christ our representative we are released from the law. Don’t miss the first part of vs 4 above, this truth is crucial to understanding how the death of Jesus was also my death and yours. He truly represented us both in living and dying. The same truth is stated again here.
14For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Corinthians 5:14,15)
In Adam our nature was to oppose God’s law, as a representative’s unbelief.
in Christ it is our nature to obey God’s law because of our representative’s faithfulness to the law.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10)
His plan. His design. His creation. His workmanship. “For good works” Why? “That we should walk in them”.
We have been redeemed by the living and dying of Jesus Christ. It is his worth and work, his doing and dying, that he did for us, on behalf of us, that brings us to God. We have been redeemed from the slavery of sin and made love slaves of Jesus Christ to his praise and glory.
Let the one who boasts boast only in the Lord!