Christ has risen! He has risen indeed!
Yesterday, those who have accepted the Christian faith (or claim to) celebrated the resurrection of our Lord. He suffered, died, and was buried, but as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15, it was all according to the Scriptures. Christ completed His work of atonement on the cross, and paid the price for all sins, curses, and iniquities that the children of God committed against the Father. He suffered in our place, and bore the suffering of the Father’s righteous anger. He died so that He would bare our sin and shame, but praise be to God that it wasn’t the end of the story.
On the third day, early Sunday morning of that week, Christ rose from the grave, conquering all the powers of Hades (Sheol, translation: death). Our God dwelled in death and was buried in the grave, but He rose according to the Scriptures. The Father lifted Him up in glory, and now He sits on the right hand of the Father. Christ not only completed the work of atonement, but was merciful enough to prove to the world that He is the Sovereign Lord over all. It is the resurrection that gives us the justification to believe that Jesus is truly the Son of God, and the promised Son of David. He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
That being said, Christ’s resurrection power did not end with a single event. There is a great, astonishing work of the resurrection that is applicable to our lives as well. Paul spoke more on the resurrection of Christ than any other writer in the New Testament, and it is clear that Paul was passionate about the fact that Christ was risen indeed. How could He not be? He rejected Christ, believed Jesus was simply a dead man who had a cult following of lunatics, and sought to destroy the Church (and ironically, he did it in the name of God). Paul’s life immediately changed on fateful day.
He travelled to Damascus to continue His persecution of the Church. Suddenly, the heavens opened up, a great light came over Paul, and he heard the Voice from Heaven which said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” It was the very voice of Christ. Paul, believing that Jesus was a dead man, was amazed. Jesus Christ was no longer a dead man to Paul, but a resurrected King. He was blinded after that, but His eyes were then opened to God’s power, both physically and spiritually. God saved Him, and He recognized that it was not up to His own power.
This is best recognized when Paul wrote a letter to the Romans, a letter which outlines the theological framework of Christianity, as well as the true understanding of Christ’s death and resurrection. In Romans 6, we can see the implications of the resurrection in our life. Beginning from Romans 6:3-4 (ESV), it says, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” This is a great and marvelous aspect of baptism, which my good friend Ashton Clark pointed out in one of his blog posts (it’s a great post, please click here to read), that we are no longer living according to the old, but according to the new creation that God has created us into.
We were once dead in our sin, but in Christ we are dead to sin. Sin no longer has power over us through Christ’s death, for our assurance is not in our works, but His work on the cross. However, the resurrection is a sign of greater significance when it comes to freedom from sin. The Israelites sacrificed all kinds of beasts, and they atoned for the sins of Israel, but the animals did not resurrect from death, which leaves me to believe that is the reason why Christ had to come. Those Sacrifices were not only made to be temporary, their effect in itself is temporary.
Romans 6:9-11 (ESV) reassures us of the permanence of Christ’s work saying, “We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Therefore, how are we able to question God’s work of security in our salvation? It is not we who live, but Christ who lives in us. He alone is the perfector of our faith, and His work is enough to have salvation. This is glorious news that we are free from sin, and it is not because of our abilities.
We didn’t offer the best lamb, we didn’t provide the best service, and we certainly didn’t pray the most touching prayer that could possible cause God to submit to a sinner’s demand. Rather it is that we have died with Christ, and we have risen with Christ.
Christ’s death assures us that He has paid the penalty for our sin.
Christ’s resurrection: assures that us that His sacrifice is sufficient, and that His covenant to His children is everlasting.
It is biblically impossible for those who are chosen by God to be bond servants to sin. The only way to believe such a theological heresy is to base it completely off of experience. We who are in Christ have been partakers of His work. How else can we take communion? How else can we approach His presence with joy and gladness, confident that Jesus has paid it all? How else are we able to say there is life everlasting if not for His work of resurrection within us? Who the Son sets free, is free indeed; and we know this because Christ has risen, He has risen indeed!
“For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” — Romans 6:14 (NASB)
Soli Deo Gloria.