In my last post, I talked about the spiritual work that’s started in us at baptism. I said that it was continued throughout our lives. The Apostle Paul continues that thought.
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
This verse shows the link between our past and our future in Christ. The word that’s translated, united, is actually a term that deals with agriculture. It means the growing process of plants.
So what this verse is saying is…if we’ve grown together with Him in His death, it will be the same with His resurrection. There are not two words for “united” in this verse. The growth starts at death and continues on through resurrection.
That brings us to the central issue.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin…
The fact is that there can be no resurrection without the cross.
That’s why Jesus tried to explain to His disciples over and over that He needed to go to the cross. It was imperative that He suffers, dies, and then three days later, rises up from the grave. He did this so that all of the unneeded baggage could be removed from our lives.
This verse explains exactly what He removes. The Lord wants to get rid of your entire past. The “old you” is removed and nailed to the cross with Christ. It’s never to be heard from again. But it doesn’t end there.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Christ doesn’t only deal with our past. The work He did on the cross affects our present and future as well. This is because the cross means nothing without the resurrection. The two must go hand in hand.
It’s great that Jesus got rid of my past sins and the guilt and shame that came with it. But I’m living in the present. I’m concerned about the future. How does what He’s done speak to this?
The power that was released when Christ rose from the dead is available to me today. I now have the power of God present in me. I have a source of strength that will get me through today victoriously. It will carry me through until I reach my destiny in Christ Jesus. That’s the power of the resurrection.
It’s just like when we’re editing something on our computers. You can create a lot of great stuff. But until you click on the save button, everything can be lost. Christ did a powerful work on the cross. But it was when He rose up from the dead that He hit the save button.
The Lord’s death and resurrection opened up the saving work of God for all time and to all people. This is what the church should be proclaiming.
Question: How does Christ’s work continue to change your life?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi