Easter may be past as an event, it may be celebrated but once a year, but for the Christian it’s an ongoing present reality or at least it should be. Jesus died once for all. He rose again never to die or rise again. It was a unique, never to be repeated, one off event. Today he lives as the resurrected Man who is also God in the Glory. Today he lives and makes effective intercession as our Mediator for us at the Father’s right hand. Today he is our life.
The letters expound the nature, significance and benefits of the resurrection. Its there in Galatians 2, Ephesians 1, 2 Corinthians 5, and Romans 6. We discover in them the tremendous recreating and life transforming power of the resurrection. That anyone who truly encounters it cannot possibly remain the same. No ifs, no buts, if you have truly encountered the risen Christ something has happened that will transform your life. A new principle a new person has come in.
Paul says we died with Christ and we were raised with him. That’s powerful! When we come to faith in Christ we die to our old way of life and a rise to a new one. As Christ identified with us in his death, we are now identified with him in his resurrection!
This is way, way, more than making a resolve to have a fresh start and hoping to do better than before, way more than living by a new code however good. This involves death to the old way, principle and power of living and being raised up into newness of life, a life free from condemnation, a life free from the power of Sin, a life delivered from the power of Satan, a life where Christ indwells us by the Spirit – the resurrected Christ living in us and us living in him. Christ in us the hope of glory.
The problem is we so often try to live the Christian life the same way we used to live, and it doesn’t work. Jesus is more than a sticking plaster that we put on some area in order to help its healing. He is more than a belief among many others to help us along the way. Jesus fully identified with us in order that we may be fully identified with him. To believe and be “in Christ” is a total transplant. Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ living in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in/the faithfulness of the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me.” Galatians 2:20
Paul says “I’ve been crucified with Christ,” Paul had died – there was a day when he died. But he says, I’m not dead, I’m very much alive, I’m living, but its different, it’s on a different basis, from a different source, Christ who is living in me, and that life I am living by faith in his faithfulness. A faithfulness exhibited throughout his life and death and continues on into his heavenly ministry.
Elsewhere Paul says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection…” For Paul this was a daily desire, a daily ambition, to live in the power of his resurrection which is intimately connected to knowing Christ. Religion won’t do it. Works won’t do it. Only Jesus. May we make it our daily ambition.