Alive in Death
Romans 6 : 3-4
Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
What do you think of when you hear that word? A living, breathing being; a plant with leaves reaching out to the sun; the glint of an animal's eye in the woods.
But what many people probably do not think of is death. It brings kind of an ugly taste to the mouth; blackness, decaying things, rotten leaves, bones.
We deserve death. We are living in death. We were born into it (Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:23) and, as some say tongue-in-cheek, begin to die as soon as we are born. But isn't this wonderful? We need help! We are dying! We are enshrouded in doom and there's not a thing we can do about it! Oh, the hope that can abound from such a predicament!
As Job said, “Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!” (Job 14:4) We need a savior! And not just any savior, but THE Savior. The one who gave his life on the cross for us.
Adam sinned; we are mired in that sin today. But through baptism, the old Adam (our sinful self) dies: “Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:3-4) Verse 8 goes on to say that we will surely also live with Christ if we died with him.
That's the only way to live—through death! Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But the hope that is inextricably tied up with that—what a hope on which to place our faith!
We are need help. Using the world's guidelines, it's contradictory that we can only be at our best when we are broken and weary and at our worst. But that's when God can really do some good stuff with his children—using our brokenness to mold us into what he wants us to be while here on earth. Galatians 2:20 says that Christ can live in me since I have died. And Ephesians 2:5 says he “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.” We were DEAD. Not coming back. At least, not by this world's standards!
Thank goodness we have an eternal hope in Christ Jesus. Now we can laugh at death.
1 Corinthians 15:55
Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
And looking at where Paul quoted that from, Hosea 13:14 says it a little differently: “Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?”
Christ won on the cross, and he won for good—for eternity. We have no reason to fear death!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The old Adam is no more, and we are freed from our sins with a promise of life eternal thanks to the saving death of Jesus on the cross!