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Pastor’s Note: The Benefits of the Resurrection


“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”
Romans 6:5-8

We recently celebrated Easter, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is a glorious celebration, the high point in the Christian calendar year, because our Lord and King came up from the grave to live and rule eternally at the right hand of the Father. His resurrection also means that death is conquered once and for all. To Jesus is the final victory!

Yet, we should be sure to remember that there are more benefits that come to us through Jesus’ resurrection. This passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans points to maybe the greatest impacts of the resurrection for me, which are: 1) that I am set free from slavery to sin; and 2) that I have hope of resurrection life. This is all through my eternal and complete union with Christ.

First, being in union with Christ means that I am crucified with Christ. Being a Christian means that we take part in an unimaginable death. When Jesus died, because we are united to Him by faith, we also died. Our sin demanded our death as penalty, but Jesus stood in our place and died. His death was totally sufficient to pay for our eternal crimes against God. His death is now our death. We died when Jesus died, so that in the final judgment we will not have to die and pay for our sins on our own. His death has freed us from the judgment and the penalty for sin. How glorious is that? Because I believe in Jesus, His death is my death. And, because my death has already taken place, I am set free from my slave master, sin. I am a slave to sin as long as I live, but having died I am no longer a slave. I no longer live in the realm where sin is master.

Sometimes this is difficult for me to believe. Often when I am faced with temptation, I think that my only choice is to give in. Temptation seems to be so powerful that it is futile to resist. So, I continue to be held in sin’s bondage. Yet, if the Scripture is true, and if I have died to sin in the death of Christ, then I do not have to give in. I am free from sin’s rule. We might not feel like it at the moment, and because of our past experience we think we cannot resist. Yet, the reality is that we are free, totally free. Though resistance is difficult, by faith we can say “No!” to sin. It is no longer my master, because I have died. Hallelujah!

Secondly, if I have died with Christ, the promise is that I will also be raised with Christ to new life. This life that is so full of struggle, temptation, failure, and doubt will not be the final word for me. Christ was raised to new life, a glorious life with no bounds. That is my destiny as well. As I was in Christ when He died, so I was in Christ when He was raised to glory. Glory is my identity now because I am in Christ as He lives in glory. I was made for glory, and through the resurrection, glory has become the reality of my life.

Let’s not stop celebrating Easter now that the season is over. Let’s see that day as the beginning of an eternal celebration of what we now have in Christ.