The Chains Are Broken

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Paul says many astonishing things in Romans. One of them is that we Christians, followers of Jesus who are far removed from his day & time, are nevertheless participants in his death & resurrection. “All of us who were baptized into Jesus were baptized into his death. … as Christ was raised from the dead, we too may live a new life!”

Paul is saying that Jesus does two things for us. First, because we participate in Jesus’ death, his death is the sacrifice that removes the debt if our sins. I died with Christ. Therefore, my guilt is removed, for every sin, past – present – future! The record of wrongs I have done isn’t erased, only to be filled in again later; it’s destroyed & thrown away. There IS no record! He has “cancelled the record of debt that stood against us, and the punishments that it legally demanded” (Col 2.14). 

Second, because we participate in Jesus’ resurrection, we can live like people who have died & risen from the dead. We have a new life, & the things of the old life–temptations, guilt & self-loathing, hate, despair, the hurt people have done to us, the hurt we’ve done to ourselves–are being stripped of their power over us. 

Day by day, God by his Spirit is renewing the way we think about ourselves, other people, the world around us, our possessions, EVERYTHING, so that sin is no longer our master. We can choose to live our lives as he calls us to live. We can say with Paul, “I am crucified with Christ, yet I live. But no longer I, Christ lives in me, and the life I live I live by the Son of God who loved me & gave himself for me.”

Easter is not just about Jesus’ resurrection. It’s about YOUR resurrection, out of the tomb & the powers of death & hell that once held you. Christ is setting you free! Come up out of the grave! Come back to life!

 
(Originally published on my old site, 21 March 2013)
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