April 19—Morning Devotion
“Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”—Romans 4:25
My soul, thou must not yet dismiss—no, nor ever dismiss, the sweet and precious subject of thy Lord’s resurrection. One part of it thou hast not yet scarce glanced at; and yet it is such a one as thine everlasting safety, and thy justification before God depends upon. “For,” as the Holy Ghost hath said, by the mouth of his servant the apostle,” if Christ be not risen, then are believers yet in their sins. “1 Cor. xv. 17. See to it then, my soul, that what this sweet scripture of the morning saith be true, that Jesus was delivered for thine offences, and was raised again for thy justification. While Jesus was on the cross, and when Jesus was taken down and laid in the grave, the payment and the ransom for sin was then discharging. Jesus was then truly delivered for our offences. And when he arose from the dead, then the poor sinner, for whom he was delivered, and for whom he died, was truly justified before God; for thereby proof was made that the debt was paid, the receipt given, and God, in confirmation of it, styled himself by a new name, even the God of Peace, in bringing again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, as the great Shepherd of his sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant. Hence the resurrection of Jesus was like going into the presence of God to cancel the bond, the hand-writing of ordinances, that was against us. It was as if Jesus gave this testimony in his glorious resurrection, that both sin and death had now lost their retaining power; the dominion of both were for ever done away, and all true believers in Christ might join the apostle’s song—”Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. “My soul, be sure to keep this in constant view, when, at any time, thou art meditating on the death and resurrection of Jesus: and let both be thy daily meditation. Think how truly blessed, how truly happy, how present and everlastingly secure, must those souls be who are interested in the death and in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. By the one he hath purchased their pardon, and by the other he hath justified their persons; so that, when law and justice present their charge against them, this is the unanswerable plea—Jesus “was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. “Oh dearest Lord, grant me daily and hourly to be bringing into all my spiritual enjoyments the sweet sense and consciousness of being thus interested, justified, and se, cared. Give me a present right and title, that I may live upon it; and by and by, when thou shalt call me home,, then, Oh Lord, present me finally and fully, once for all, as made comely in thy comeliness, clothed in thy righteousness, and fully prepared, both in soul and body, for everlasting happiness and glory among them that are sanctified.
Robert Hawker (1753-1827) was an Anglican (High-Calvinist) preacher who served as Vicar of Charles Church, Plymouth. John Hazelton wrote of him:
“The prominent features…in Robert Hawker's testimony…was the Person of Christ….Dr. Hawker delighted to speak of his Lord as "My most glorious Christ.” What anxious heart but finds at times in the perusal of the doctor's writings a measure of relief, a softening, and a mellowing? an almost imperceptible yet secret and constraining power in leading out of self and off from the misery and bondage of the flesh into a contemplation of the Person and preciousness of Christ as "the chiefest among ten thousand and the altogether lovely." Christ and Him crucified was emphatically the burden of his song and the keynote of his ministry. He preached his last sermon in Charles Church on March 18th, 1827, and on April 6th he died, after being six years curate and forty-three years vicar of the parish. On the last day of his life he repeated a part of Ephesians 1, from the 6th to the 12th verses, and as he proceeded he enlarged on the verses, but dwelt more fully on these words: "To the praise of His glory Who first trusted in Christ." He paused and asked, "Who first trusted in Christ?" And then made this answer: "It was God the Father Who first trusted in Christ."