Devotional April 29, 2011

Posted on April 29, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Devotional Reflections

The recent Easter season was an incredible and emotional blessing. My church has a fantastic worship team; the music and drama made the resurrection of our Lord a realistic, personal experience. I have never participated in a more meaningful Lord’s Supper as it was conducted in the dramatized context of Maundy Thursday. The strong biblical preaching of my pastor elicited a deeper devotion to our Lord in response to the significant event we celebrated.

While all of this appropriately focused on our Lord’s victorious resurrection from the grave, it occurred to me that all of this should serve as a reminder of our own resurrection from the dead.  Just as Christ’s death on the cross was our death, paying the penalty of our sins, His resurrection provided for our resurrection to a new and transformed life.

Christian believers seem to have no problem accepting the substitutionary death of Christ.  I would defy anyone to fully explain how the death of Jesus on the cross more than 2,000 years ago can effectually be the payment of death for my sins today, once and for all, but we believe it.  In fact, that belief is the foundation of our salvation.  However, we seem to ignore the accompanying reality of the substitutionary resurrection.  When we come to Christ in faith, accepting His death for salvation, we who were dead in trespasses and sins are resurrected to a new life in Him.

In the sixth chapter of Romans we are told that we are baptized, immersed, into His death…”in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:4-5).

This is not referring to assurance of the future resurrection in heaven, but here and now in our mortal, fleshly bodies.  Paul goes on to explain this reality, “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you” (Rom. 8:11).

We who believe were a part of that glorious resurrection morning! It is awesome to realize that the resurrected Christ lives within us and has given to us a new, resurrected body. Nowhere is this more graphically portrayed than in Galatians 2:20—my favorite verse—“I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

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