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Life-Study of Matthewby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0332-4
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 71 of 72 Section 1 of 3

LIFE-STUDY OF MATTHEW

MESSAGE SEVENTY-ONE

MAN’S UNRIGHTEOUSNESS
AND GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS

In Matthew 27 we see a contrast between man’s unrighteousness and God’s righteousness. In the crucifixion of Christ, man’s unrighteousness turns into God’s righteousness. We need to see this matter very clearly.

MAN’S UNRIGHTEOUSNESS

As we pointed out in the previous message, the Lord Jesus was on the cross for six hours. During the first three hours, He was dealt with by man, and during the second three hours, He was dealt with by God. Everything man did to the Lord Jesus in chapter twenty-seven was unrighteous. Not only was Pilate unrighteous toward the Lord Jesus, but the Jewish leaders were also unrighteous toward Him. They arrested Christ in an unrighteous way, and they also judged and bound Him in an unrighteous way. Everything the religious leaders did to the Lord was unrighteous. Judas, of course, was also unrighteous in betraying the Lord Jesus. The Roman soldiers also treated Him unrighteously. Their mocking, spitting, and beating were unrighteous. Furthermore, they unrighteously forced Simon of Cyrene to bear the Lord’s cross. Thus, on man’s side, there was nothing righteous.

MAN’S UNRIGHTEOUSNESS TURNING
INTO GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS

Praise God that man’s unrighteousness turned into God’s righteousness! Man could only go so far. He could mistreat the Lord and put Him on the cross as the Passover Lamb. Everything man did to the Lord Jesus set the stage for God’s righteousness to come in. On man’s side, everything was black, but on God’s side, everything was white. On man’s side, everything was unrighteous, but on God’s side, everything was righteous. Man’s unrighteousness prepared the way for God’s righteousness to be fully manifested. In this way, man’s unrighteousness turned into God’s righteousness. In the crucifixion of Christ, man’s unrighteousness was fully exposed; yet it brought in God’s righteousness. Thus, the killing of Christ was the first way through which man’s unrighteousness brought in God’s righteousness.

CHRIST EXPOSING
MAN’S UNRIGHTEOUSNESS

However, this was not the basic way. The basic way in which man’s unrighteousness turned into God’s righteousness was through Christ. In turning man’s unrighteousness into God’s righteousness, Christ first exposed man’s unrighteousness to the uttermost. In all of human history there has not been a case in which man’s unrighteousness has been as totally exposed as in the crucifixion of Christ. As we all know, there is unrighteousness in the judicial branch of any earthly government. But no earthly court has seen as much unrighteousness as was exposed in the case of the trial and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus completely exposed human unrighteousness. We have seen that the Lord’s betrayal at the hands of Judas was unrighteous. The elders, the high priests, and the Sanhedrin all were unrighteous. Thus, the case of the crucifixion of Christ was unique in being filled with unrighteousness. Nearly everyone involved with His case was unrighteous. In every way and in every aspect, it was unrighteous. The very presence of Christ in this unrighteous situation was a full exposure of man’s unrighteousness.


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