Easter is a reminder of a cataclysmic day! The resurrection was a game changer; An event that started the destruction of the world order that has existed from the beginning of the world. It marks the beginning of the age to come.
I connected with that powerfully today. The truth of the implications of the resurrection rolled over me today like a tidal wave bringing inexpressible joy and hope. That doesn’t happen for me every Easter.
It came while reading 1 Corinthians 15 and Romans 6 this morning. I just want to share with you quickly the verses that hit me this morning:
Romans 6:4-6, 9-14
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 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. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
In the old world order Man had two great enemies, sin and death. These evil brothers had reigned from the time of Adam. But Jesus changed all that, and it has implications for our present. Our union with Christ means freedom from sin NOW. We died with Christ, and Sin lost its hold. We were raised and now live with Christ in the world that is to come.
And while we live in this new age already, the old age still persist. Though sin and death have been disarmed, ultimately defeated, and we are free, they still have great power. They are like Hitler after the D-Day invasion; his end was sure, but he still had considerable destructive power. It was to this point that 1 Corinthians 15 flew of the page to me.
Paul, having just spoken of the certainty that was Jesus’ resurrection, turns his attention to what awaits for us in our resurrection. It is here that he takes us through, in my opinion, some of the most exhilarating stuff about what is to come.
1 Cor. 15:42-49,51,52,54-57
So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power… Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit…The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven… Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
… but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed…When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is here that we see the certainty of our victory, and the completion of what we already have in part. It is here that we see the sweetness of our new life. We shall have immortal, incorruptible bodies. The sting of death, which is sin, will be no more. We will be perfected. No longer will we simply bear the image of Adam, but we will bear the image of Christ himself. It is the fulfillment of all we were created for. We shall be perfect image bearers of God, and we shall live forever with him.
And death will not just be knocked down; it is swallowed in victory! it is overwhelmed by the enormity of the life that is Christ! As a shark swallows a minnow, so Christ has and will swallow death.
When Christ arose that sunday morning he shattered the hold of death and sin. It was a cataclysmic day. The old order began to die that day, and we began to live. And though it fights hard to keeps its power, Christ the life giving spirit shall not be overcome. His resurrection was like a great explosion of energy that is sending shock-waves speeding over the earth; swallowing up death and sin; destroying the old structures that were.
One day he will return and bring the new order in its fullness. But today it was just good to know that it has begun, and that it will be is glorious.