Righteousness is a simple concept but an extraordinary one. Simply put, God’s righteousness demands righteousness on our part. If that is true, then logic follows that the flip side is also true. God’s righteousness demands punishment for all of our unrighteousness. If we are honest for a second, the reality is that none of us can live up to God’s demand for righteousness. We all deal with the problem of sin in our lives. So if punishment for our sin is demanded, how could we, as sinners, possibly be saved?
This is the extraordinary part of God’s righteousness. God provides righteousness for us as sinful human beings, and he himself makes satisfaction for our unrighteousness. The gospel message of Jesus Christ is a declaration of God’s love and grace, of course, but it is also a message of his redemptive righteousness. Amazingly, God is righteous in forgiving sin. This of course is the beauty of the gospel. God has not lowered the bar so we could attain a lower standard. Rather, he broke into time and space and sent his one and only son to pay the price for our sins! In Jesus, we have all that God’s righteousness requires of us. He is the sinless one who stood in place of sinners and offered himself in sacrifice and endured the cross bearing the weight of our sin and shame. Christ took our sin and gave us his righteousness so that we could stand justified before a righteous God.