While watching the NBA playoffs I was surprised to see Australian Andrew Bogut of the Warriors raise his hand. This gesture of acknowledging a foul used to be mandatory and is still used in European play. It helps the officiating crew in recording the number of fouls. However, today it is something completely voluntary and rarely done. Sometimes a player will raise his hand to take the heat off a star player, confusing the officials and taking the foul for the other player!
Today’s verse has Jesus Christ raising His hand for us! He had no sin of His own. He was completely innocent of any wrongdoing. Yet, He took our place. He paid the price God’s holiness exacts for sin; the price of death (Romans 6:23). He did this so that those who raise their hand to admit their guilt could be declared righteousness and in right standing with Him. Not only are believers declared righteous through His eyes, but we are to “die to sin and live for righteousness” (I Peter 2:24).
I am no “star player” that He should take the foul for me! I am completely undeserving that He should take my punishment on Himself. It is only because of His grace and love! He loved me and sacrificed Himself for me while I was still an enemy of His! (Romans 5:10) And His sacrifice for my sin makes it possible to share in His righteousness. No longer will sin have the same power of death over me! What an incredible love that He should die for me!
Lord, I am humbled and grateful that You raised Your hand for me!