“Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:33–34, ESV)
Here we are at Good Friday. The annual time when we remember, in a special way, the atoning work of our Lord where He died on the cross to pay the complete penalty of our sin and purchase a place in Heaven for us, which He offers as a free gift. Leading up to His crucifixion, the Jewish religious leaders of the day accused Jesus of a crime that He did not commit. He endured several trials. He did not defend Himself. No one came to his defense. The closest person to defending Him was Pilate, the Roman Governor and judge, who declared that he found no fault in Jesus. Yet at the insistence of the Jewish leaders, Pilate had Him crucified.
We know the rest of the story. Jesus died, was buried and on the third day rose from the grave alive. While He had no one come to His defense, Paul indicates that because He rose again, He comes to ours. He constantly intercedes for us.
Our adversary, the devil, is one who brings accusation, charge, against us. The fact is that even after we have been saved, we will on occasion still sin. The charges brought against us in this case are correct. However, God has justified us completely. The death of Jesus on the cross provided the perfect sacrifice to pay the complete penalty for all of our sin, once and for all. There is no further sacrifice for sin. Since we have been justified, the charges are to no avail. There is no condemnation for us in Christ (Rom 8:1).
The resurrection and ascension of Jesus to the right hand of God, provides the eternal assurance of our justification. Jesus intercedes for us, assuring that He will keep us secure in our salvation. He also intercedes as our defender against the accusations of the devil. John echoes this thought, indicating that Jesus Christ is our advocate (1 John 2:1). He pleads that the penalty of sin has been paid in full for every believer. Only a living, resurrected and ascended Savior can do this. We rejoice that we have such a Savior in Jesus Christ our Lord.