“…concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David
according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power
by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of
holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans
1:3-4). What a powerful statement about Jesus. The
resurrection was more than a historical event. It was a
proclamation to all mankind. The resurrection proclaims to us that
what happened on the Friday night of that Passover week so many
years ago was no ordinary execution. Jesus was no common criminal.
He was no ordinary man. He was God in the flesh. He was, and is,
the divine Son of God who died so that we might live. He loved us
and gave Himself for us (Galatians
2:20). How amazing is that? Romans
5:6-9 explains how amazing it is. Jesus did not do this for us
because we were so worthy of it. He did this for sinners, for
enemies. He did it for those who had become by nature children of
wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3).
Amazing. The question is, what should we do with it? How should we
respond to the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Sadly, much of the modern world believes today is somehow
special because it has been unbiblically dubbed Easter. For many,
the response to Jesus’ resurrection is an annual observance of a
mixture of Christian, pagan and secular rites. Nowhere in the
Bible did God authorize us to respond to the resurrection, in
whole or in part, with an annual holiday of remembrance. Sadly,
for many the response is simply a weekly remembrance through the
Christian ritual of the Lord’s Supper. While that is certainly a
biblical part of our response, the Bible actually presents that
our response to Jesus’ resurrection should be a daily one.
Examine Romans 6 and
learn our three responses to Jesus’ loving sacrifice and
We respond by being crucified with Jesus.
According to Romans
6:6, our old self is to be crucified with Jesus on the cross
in order to put away the body of sin. Colossians
2:13-14 explains that our certificate of debt, that is, what
we owed because of sin was nailed to the cross with Jesus Christ.
When many think of being crucified with Christ today, that is what
they think of. They think of our sins being on that cross with
Jesus and being forgiven. That however is not our response to the
resurrection. That was Christ’s response to our need. He died so
our sins could be wiped away. However, if we want our sins
crucified on the cross with Jesus. We have to crucify ourselves on
the cross with Jesus.
says, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I
who live, but Christ lives in me…” Our response to the
resurrection is giving up the control of our lives to Jesus
Christ. Through His death and resurrection, we have been bought
with a price. Therefore, we respond by glorifying Christ in our
bodies (I Corinthians 6:20).
says if we want to be Christ’s disciples, we must take up our
cross and follow Him—daily. That is, we do it every day.
Further, we do not worry about more than one day at a time. But
each day, we crucify our will to Christ’s, denying ourselves,
losing our lives in order to gain true life.
We respond by considering ourselves dead to sin (Romans 6:11).
In Romans 6:11,
Paul said we should consider ourselves as being dead to sin. Sin
no longer attracts us and pulls us after it. Having died to sin,
we are freed from its control in our lives. As Peter wrote in I
Peter 4:3, we have already spent enough time in sensuality,
lust, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and idolatries. It
is time to give those up. Jesus died for us and was resurrected,
giving us the hope of life. We respond by considering ourselves
dead to sin.
Paul wrote again in Colossians
3:1-8 that we must consider the members of our body as dead to
sins—immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed which
amounts to idolatry, anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive
speech. All of these things are to be put away from us. This is
how we respond to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus did not die and was not resurrected to allow us to
“go to church” sometimes but live however we want. He died and
was resurrected to free us from our sins and deliver us to purity.
Let us respond by putting sin aside and being dead to it.
We respond by presenting our members to righteousness (Romans 6:13).
In Romans 6:13,
Paul said that instead of presenting our members as slaves to
unrighteousness and sin, resulting in death, we should present our
members to righteousness as slaves resulting in righteousness and
in life (Romans 6:23).
This corresponds with Colossians
3:9-17. In the first part of the chapter, we were told to be
dead to sin, putting it off. In the second, we are told to put on
the new man, renewed to a true knowledge of God. We are told to
put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and
patience, bearing with one another, forgiving each other. Above
all we are to put on love, allowing the peace of Christ to rule in
our hearts and the word of Christ to dwell richly within us.
4:20-5:5. We are not only to put off the old, but replace it
with the new. We no longer lie, we tell the truth. We no longer
sin when we are angry, but deal with our anger quickly. We no
longer steal, but work and are generous to others. We no longer
speak unwholesome words, but only edifying words. Instead of
bitterness and wrath, etc, we live in kindness, tender-heartedness
and forgiveness. We walk in love as Christ has loved us, being
imitators of God.
Hearing these responses, we might at first be overwhelmed.
It sounds an awful lot like being perfect from now until the day
we die. That, however, is not the Bible’s picture of
Christianity. II Peter
1:5-8 demonstrates that deliverance from and victory over sin
is a growth process. Even still, the whole prospect sounds like it
is beyond our strength. We have all tried to overcome sin on our
own and it has never worked before, why would it start now. It
will work when we truly respond to Christ’s resurrection,
because we are no longer working alone. According to Romans 8:2, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus can and
will set us free from the law of sin and death. The weaknesses of
the flesh can and will be overcome by the Spirit in and through
us. As Paul said in Philippians
4:13, we can do all things through Christ. It won’t happen
over night. But taking refuge in Jesus Christ, we can respond
properly to the resurrection. We can be crucified with Jesus,
allowing Him to live through us. We can be dead to sin. We can be
alive to righteousness. But we must make the first step.
When does all of this response begin? When do we become
crucified with Christ and die to sin? According to Romans
6:1-5, baptism is the beginning. We enter Christ’s death
when we are baptized to do so. We die to sin, when we are baptized
to do so. We are raised from the watery grave of baptism to walk
in the newness of life. Have you responded to Christ’s
resurrection yet? Have you submitted to him in baptism for the
remission of your sins (Acts
2:38)? If not, why not respond right now?
to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Church of Christ