Jeremiah 33:14-16 - "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and He shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.'"
Righteousness is one of those words we don't hear very often—unless it's in the form of the word "self-righteousness." And we all know what that is—hypocrisy and pride, a fake goodness layered on top of all the same sins we know that we have, too. That kind of righteousness stinks to high heaven. Who wants that?
And yet, real righteousness is very desirable. People spend a great deal of time trying to do good deeds—working hard to keep the Commandments—trying to figure out what is right, so we can do it. We have arguments over coffee about what is the right thing to do. We argue on Twitter and Facebook about it. We have departments and codes of ethics. Deep in our hearts, we know that goodness is a good thing, and we want to have it. And we are ashamed and guilty when we realize that we don't measure up to that high standard. Which for most of us, is every day.
So here we are—people who want to be righteous, people who try—people who can't manage it. What hope is there for us?
To us God says, "I will fulfill the promise I made ... I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David ... And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.'"
God knows that we can't make ourselves righteous, however hard we try. That is why He gave us the promise of Jesus. Jesus, the Son of David, came to fulfill all God's promises and to make us righteous—not by our power, but by His. He is the One who laid down His life for us, to remake us as clean, pure, whole human beings—people the way God meant us to be. That is what the cross was about. He took our brokenness upon Himself. He died of it. And then He rose from the dead, victorious over all that—and shares His Easter victory with us.
Now we have a real righteousness—not one that we made, but one that God made. Now we don't have to be ashamed, because when God looks at us, He sees us in Jesus. He is our righteousness, and we don't have to be ashamed anymore. He is ours, and we are His.
THE PRAYER: Lord, You are my Righteousness. Help me to trust in You and not in my own doings. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Have you ever tried your hardest to be perfect?
2. If so, how did it go?
3. How does Jesus' gift of righteousness set you free?
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