Resurrection life

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Have you ever wondered why there is such an emphasis on the resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament? Of course it would have been strange for Jesus to have stayed dead – but what is so important about the resurrection?

When Adam and Eve sinned, they “died” just as God said they would (Genesis 2:17; see Ephesians 2:4-5), and we died with them (Romans 5:15). From that moment, they entered into death in every way. Everything in their lives was touched by death. Romans 5:17 says that “death reigned.”

When Jesus came, he joined himself to us in our death. He fully entered into the dark, evil, horrific depths of our sin, and then overcame it and lifted us up out of it with him when he came to life again. We have been raised with Christ (see Romans 6:4-5) and instead of the death we once had, we now have his awesome, overcoming, powerful life flowing through our veins.

The reason why the resurrection of Jesus is so important is because it is the answer to our problem. Death reigned – but now, “How much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life” (Romans 5:17). As deep and dark the death we were in bondage to was, the life we have been given now is that powerful in the opposite direction – and more.

The resurrection life of Jesus that is at work in you is incredibly powerful. Peter said in Acts 2:24, “It was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” His life was just too powerful to keep down. According to 2 Timothy 1:10, in the encounter between death and the resurrection life of Jesus, death was destroyed!

Paul prayed that the Ephesians would catch a glimpse of the awesome power of that life: “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know ... his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:18-20).

For reflection:

Because Jesus fully entered into the depths of our death, that means there is no place Jesus cannot go. You cannot take God’s presence into a dark place and “defile” him; he can go anywhere, even into the worst possible situation and to the darkest and foulest heart, and transform it by his very presence.

In the Old Testament, if someone holy touched an unclean person, they would become unclean. Jesus came and touched lepers and broken lives, and instead of being defiled himself, he made them clean. His life heals and transforms everything it comes into contact with.

“In him was life ...” (John 1:4)

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