How Marvelous, How Wonderful.

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,” (I Peter 3:18).

In Jesus Christ, we see the person responsible for substitutionary atonement. Jesus the Messiah is the only one who is identified as one who suffered once for sins. Peter also identifies Jesus Christ as the only righteous one who died and rose again for the unrighteous.

The word righteous (δίκαιος; dikaios) means upright and just. Jesus was always in perfect harmony with God the Father’s will. He met the standard of what God requires. Jesus could do so because He is Emmanuel, God with us.

This righteous and just one died for the unrighteous (ἄδικος; adikos). To be unrighteous means to not be upright or just. It literally means to be crooked. Therefore, this is why we may call a criminal who has broken the law a “crook.”

This reminds us of 1 Peter 2:19 in that the sinlessness of Christ is the one perfect offering for sin. This is what gives Jesus Christ’s blood value. He had no sin himself. Lost sinners today still fail to understand this truth.

Hymn writer Charles Hutchinson Gabriel described Jesus’ atonement as follows. Let us also stand in amazement of God’s love for you and me.

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene
And wonder how He could love me
A sinner condemned unclean


How marvelous how wonderful
And my song shall ever be
How marvelous how wonderful
Is my Savior’s love for me

Verse 2

He took my sins and my sorrows
He made them His very own
(And) He bore the burden to Calvary
And suffered and died alone

Verse 3

And with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see
It will be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me

Merry Christmas!



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