Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dead To Death

Have you ever died to something? There may have been things we tried to die to but couldn't shake the connection. Others that we wanted desperately to hold onto but found them slipping away until they were no longer in our grasp. Perhaps we woke up one day to find that a connection has been severed and we had no part in it at all.

"Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him." - Romans 6:8-9 ESV

As far as Jesus is concerned death is dead. His connections to death and all the fear and grief associated with it are severed.

"For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God." - Romans 6:10 ESV

He went to the cross 'as sin' because the sin sins of the world were placed on Him just like the sins of the nation were placed on a sacrificial animal.

"And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness." - Leviticus 16:21-22 ESV

Now those sins are gone and Christ is dead 'to sin' and every imperfection. He is alive and associated with living whole things not dead broken things.

You might say, 'Well, Then He can't have much to do with me.' but the crazy thing is that we were with Him when that death happened. We passed through death with Him! As a man He represented all humanity.

"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...

Or do you not know, brothers - for I am speaking to those who know the law - that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?" - Romans 6:11-13, 7:1 ESV

When something dies and is truly disconnected the rules that governed that relationship or association also get disconnected. The law served it's purpose for Israel. Grace is how living people associate. Grace is how God functions toward someone who has been raised from the dead and passed from death into life.

We are all troubled by connections that are unhealthy. We can and must consider ourselves dead to those things and those things dead to us because in Christ that death has already taken place to make way for life.

"But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world... And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus." - Galatians 6:14, 16-17 ESV

Paul was beaten because of His association with Christ and the message of grace but we can make the same claim of co-crucifixion. We can and we should because then we can be free to live.

It is mathematics. The King James translates verse 11 this way.

"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 6:11 KJV

We make a 'reckoning' in our minds by faith that the connection is broken and God creates a dynamic that truly breaks the connection so that it can't dominate us.

Thank you God! Salvation is Your work. We believe in You and what You have done. We are free.


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