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Easter Hope

In Luke 24, the angel said to the women at the tomb, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.

 

It was quite a shock to those women who were looking for Jesus’ body. Romans 6 tells us that Jesus died once – that he would never die again and death would never have dominion over him. As surprising as his initial resurrection was to those women, the fact that he would never die again is even more monumental.

                         

Look at Romans 6:9-14

We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.10For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

 

This passage tells us what happened to Jesus in relation to this death and resurrection and what happens to Christians who put their faith in Jesus. The big question is “What benefit is the resurrection of Christ to me as a Christian?”

 

First, a few questions about Jesus. First, How was Jesus raised from the dead? (v. 9)  Romans 6:4 says that Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in other words, he was raised by God’s glorious power. God has power over life and death. He created life and he can command it to begin and end. Here, God raises Jesus from death with his complete power over death.

 

Second, How do we know that Christ will never die again?(v. 9)

Ephesians 1:20 says that he (God the Father) seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places. This explains why he won’t die again – he’s in heaven at the Father’s right hand; he is ruling from his rightful seat as the eternal son of God.

Third,what does it mean that Christ “died once for all”? (v. 10) Hebrews 7:27 tells us that He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.

 

“Once for all” emphasizes the finality of Jesus one-time death – the Greek word means one time only or upon one occasion only. New Testament scholar F.F. Bruce puts it this way, “in his death he dealt effectively and conclusively w/sin, winning a victory that needs no second fight, leaves no second foe.”

 

The best stories end with the total annihilation of the enemy – Lord of the Rings comes to mind. Throwing the ring in the fires of Mt. Doom is the final blow to the enemy. It is the end. This is, of course, why Jesus says “It is finished” on the cross.

 

Since Christ died in our place – we deserved death for all of our sins. But one day there will be no more death!

 

How can we consider ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ? (v.11)

 

We are told in I Corinthians 15:22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive and in I Peter 3:8 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.

 

F.F. Bruce comments on this passage that Christians are not pretending to be alive in Christ. Christians must consider themselves to be what God has made them to be: dead to sin and alive to God.

 

Dead to sin means that it is powerless and unable to control you – isn’t that good news?

 

F. F. Bruce also says that “this is morally productive” – The Spirit has come to make Christ’s work effective in our lives. You need to grasp hold of this. You are dead to sin. Note: That doesn’t mean that you will never sin again, it means that you have that possibility. You can resist sin in your life because of Christ!

 

The second part of this verse is that we are to consider ourselves alive to God.

 

We learn here that what is true of Jesus, is also true of us. This is called “union with Christ”. What that means is that God the Father chose all Christians to belong to his family and therefore, since Jesus is God’s one and only son, the death and resurrection of Jesus is for all of us, since we’re in God’s family. We are united to Jesus, just as we are to our own family. Although it is spiritual, it is real. Think of it like a baby attached to its mother with an umbilical cord. So we can consider ourselves alive to God because Jesus is alive to God (he achieved it for us). 

 

Jesus died to sin (so did we). Jesus is alive in God (so are we!). We are alive (not merely physically) but spiritually. And only God gives spiritual life. 

 

Let’s take verses 12-13 together. Paul gives two instructions:

Don’t let sin reign in your body and don’t offer parts of your body to sin (as an instrument of unrighteousness). They are saying the same thing. Do not sin because you have been made alive in Christ. If you are alive in Christ, you have died to sin. 

 

Of course, if you are using your body to sin, you are using your mind. You are making a decision to sin. But Christians don’t have to do that. We will all fail, but now we have the power to resist and fight back. When you don’t have the strength to fight sin, Jesus does, because he already defeated sin!

 

Rather, we can present our body & mind to God for righteousness (obedience). And we don’t do it because we’re trying to earn our salvation. We are doing it because we’re already saved, forgiven and made righteous because of Jesus. 

 

Verse 14 tells us that sin will no longer have dominion over us – It won’t master us. I hope you have experienced this. While we are all sinful and will continue to be, you will not be totally controlled by sinful desire the way you might be if you weren’t a Christian or if you were ignoring God’s calling in your life. But Christ has freed all of us from this – we now can obey the Lord much easier because of Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

 

Conclusion

Jesus died only once – he will never die again. Just like you will never pay for the lunch you had last week at that restaurant. Even more than that – you will never have to pay the penalty for sin – which is death – Jesus paid it all and none of us will ever die again. Never again will there be an enemy to fight! Jesus died once and will never die again – no more death, only life with God.