One of the points that Dr. Carson notes during his lecture on Romans 3 is verse 26 which is often overlooked. I would translate the verse:
"It was to show his justice at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."
I have left "justifier" in for effect but what it really means is--"to be declared 'right' in His sight."
This is important because the problem presented is that (1) God is Holy (i.e., perfect, infinite, pure, etc.) and we are sinful (i.e., we spit in our creator's face) but (2) God loves us regardless. God's justice demands payment for the affront to His holiness but He loves us so much that He does not want us to be remain condemned. The solution is that Jesus pays the penalty and imputes his status to us. Thus, God's justice is satisfied and He "justifies" us (i.e., declares us to be right in his sight). We have done nothing to deserve this great mercy. It is all due to Jesus and we are to live in thanks for this gift.
Happy Easter...the tomb is empty!