Having dealt with the effects of man’s sin through the Cross, the Lord is now able to reopen the way to life. You may, however, be surprised at the way it works out.
Many are aware of the fact that we died with Christ on the cross from Scripture passages such as Galatians 2:20 or Romans 6:6. Few, however, realize we were also raised to life with Christ in His resurrection from the dead. Consider the following Scriptures.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved– Ephesians 2:4 – 5
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1
The implications of both passages is that the Father raised us to spiritual life when He raised His Son from the dead.
This fact is perfectly illustrated in water baptism. When we are placed beneath the waters of baptism and breathing ceases, it represents our death and burial with the Lord Jesus Christ. Our “old man” (the person we were in our pre-Christian days) is dead and gone forever. When we are then brought up out of the water, and take that first breath of fresh air, it shows how we were raised to new life with the Lord (see Romans 6:1 – 4).
Our Tree of Life
Because we have died and risen with Christ, He is now our Tree of Life. John tells us
And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1st John 5:11-2
Eternal life is not merely life after death, nor is it a kind of substance we are granted apart from Christ. Paul emphatically states that Christ Himself is our life.
When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:4
This is why Paul also wrote, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Simply put, the Christian life is actually Christ living His life in and through you and I.
The Perfect Illustration
Jesus gave us the perfect illustration of this reality in John 15:5.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
In this picture, the vine is seen as the source of life for the branches. The branches, on the other hand, exist only to express the life of the vine. The result of this relationship between the vine and the branch is fruit that is consistent with the nature of the vine.
By the same token, Christ has now become our Source of Life. The only real purpose for our existence is to express, or reveal, His life to the world around us. As we abide in this relationship, the result will be fruit that is consistent with His divine nature (Galatians 5:22 – 23).
The key is to learn to live in this relationship. That will be the subject of my next post. I hope it will help you learn to live in Reign.
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”