May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
…for he who has died is freed from sin.
Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Dead. What a final word. So blunt. So bland. So direct.
“I’m sorry ma’am, he’s dead.”
It’s over. Ended. Deceased. Departed. Pulseless. Lifeless. You get the picture. Death means the end of life for whatever it has overtaken. In many applications of this word it is used in a very negative sense. Both of my parents and my oldest brother have succumbed to physical death and all of them at ages younger than I am now. It’s surreal. Death brings tears of sadness and loss. I assume most everyone with a heart has cried many tears over the death of someone they loved. It permanently separates us and, being people who love to be joined in relationship, the separation of death is cold and painful. All communication ceases. All fellowship fades. The relationship is done.
Imagine though if we could truly apply this same concept of death to our sinful selves. If the evil that stalks us from within could simply die a cold, hard death. If the fleshly nature of which Scripture consistently speaks could be gone in an instant. Imagine if we could just send our sin over the river Styx and be done with it. We would welcome the Grim Reaper if he were simply coming to usher our evil hearts to death.
“Hey GR! What are you doing here? You want what? You came for who? Me? My sinful self? My evil heart? The flesh? Hallelujah! Whoo hoo! He’s all yours mi amigo! Take him away.”
The Grim Reaper illustration is probably a bit weak, to say the least, but the point being made is strong. Jesus Christ has died and carried our sin into death with Him. We have died with Him. Our sin is a part of our dead body. Dead bodies don’t do anything. They just lie there and, well, rot. Our sinful self has died by the power of Jesus Christ.
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.
It is the most joyful death we’ve ever encountered. It’s a death we celebrate and shout about. Well, we should at least! We’re a bit too cultured for that, I guess. It is a death that also brings tears when fully comprehended. Tears of joy and relief. Our old, sinful self has been crucified with Christ. It’s over. Deceased. Pulseless. Lifeless. It has no authority or control over the one who is walking in the resurrected life of Jesus Christ. It is amazingly good. How could our Father love us so much? It is a wonderful mystery.
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
How can we not praise Him?