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Responding to the Resurrection


      “…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 resurrection.


I.         We respond by being crucified with Jesus.

A.      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.

B.     Galatians 2:20 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).

C.     Luke 9:23-24 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.

II.       We respond by considering ourselves dead to sin (Romans 6:11).

A.      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.

B.     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.

C.     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.

III.      We respond by presenting our members to righteousness (Romans 6:13).

A.      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).

B.     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.

C.     Consider Ephesians 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?


Glory to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Franklin Church of Christ