Substitutionary Resurrection

Posted on April 4, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Devotional Reflections

Rankin-Devotional“If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

The world makes a big deal of Christmas, but only Christians can truly celebrate Easter. Granted, the secularization of Christmas as practiced by the world is not exactly God-glorifying, it is the preeminent holiday of the year. Although the birthdate of founders of other religions are revered along with that of other prominent historical figures, it is appropriate that we celebrate Christmas day as the point in which Almighty God became a man in order to redeem us from sin.

Others are born and die, but no one else is remembered for having been resurrected from the dead! But we should not celebrate Easter simply as commemoration of a significant historical event, for what happened had eternal ramifications for the whole world. Jesus died to pay the penalty of death for the sins of a lost world, but in rising from the dead, death died–He conquered death and the enemy of the soul that had the power of death. Oh, what a glorious Savior!

If one has not placed one’s faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, then there is nothing to celebrate. But, if in repentance and believing in the atoning work of Jesus one has been saved from terrifying penalty of sin, then Easter is a personal celebration of having been raised to a new life in Jesus.

We know that because of what Christ did, we will be raised to a new resurrected life in heaven, but in reality we have already been resurrected to a new life when we are saved. We don’t have a problem accepting the substitutionary death of Christ–His death on the cross was our death, dying for the penalty of our sins. He substituted and died for us, and that’s why “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). However, we seldom realize that we also are the recipients of a substitutionary resurrection.

At the point of salvation, if we have died with Him, then we also are raised with Him to a new life in the here and now. The same Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead has given a new life to our mortal bodies. We will receive a resurrected body when we get to heaven, but we don’t have to wait until we die to experience the resurrection; it is a reality in the here and now.

This is how the Apostle Paul portrays the Christian life in Galatians 2:20–”I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet, not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” 

The very same Spirit that brought Jesus to life now dwells in us. “Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Could this be why the stirring Easter music, biblical dramatization and preaching on the death and resurrection of Jesus during the passion week was so emotional? We weren’t just being reminded of something that happened to Jesus, but something that we have experienced personally. Easter is a celebration of our own resurrection from being dead in trespasses and sins but now being raised to a new life in a living Savior!

Leave a Reply

More News