You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you (Acts 3:14, NIV).

In his discourse after the healing of the crippled man at the Beautiful Gate, Peter publicly identified Jesus Christ as “the Holy and Righteous One.” This title sets Jesus apart as unique in holiness. He is the one spoken of by the prophet Isaiah as “a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me” (Isaiah 45:21, NIV).

This title calls attention to the inherent worthiness of Jesus Christ, an attribute that makes Him uniquely suited to be our Savior and our perfect example. This designation of the Holy and Righteous One, is evidently one of Peter’s favorite titles of Jesus. He was the first New Testament figure to apply this title to Jesus (see John 6:69, NIV). Elsewhere in the New Testament, Peter twice exalts Jesus as the Holy and Righteous One (see Acts 2:27; 7:52, NIV). Even the demoniacs of Capernaum loudly acknowledged Jesus as the “Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24, NIV).

This designation portrays Christ as the spotless, sinless Savior. It pinpoints His intrinsic holiness and inherent goodness. Though taking humanity upon Himself in form and nature, yet He remained, “holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26, NIV). In both His human and divine natures, He was the Holy and Righteous One.

The plan of salvation was divinely designed that mankind might become like the Holy and Righteous One. That’s what Calvary was all about. By the vicarious death of the sinless One, the unholy can become holy. Salvation is God’s miracle of transforming lost, hopeless sinners into saints. Jesus died to make man holy. Here is the simple, yet powerful, formula: “By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God… treats him as though he were righteous and loves him as He loves His Son.”–Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 367.

My Prayer: Lord, I am grateful that the Holy and Righteous One is transforming me into His likeness. Amen!