By Not Known
We remembered the death of Jesus and celebrated his resurrection at Easter.
Last Sunday we saw that the Cross summons us to a changed life now. We are
called to enter into the Easter story, deny ourselves, take up our cross of
suffering and tread the path of Jesus into his kingdom.
What about the resurrection? Christian hope is to be united with Jesus in his
resurrection and so to share in eternal life. Is this all? Does life just trudge on in
the present, still trapped in a pre-Easter prison whose bars are the powers of sin?
By no means! Paul tells us that the resurrection is to be a present and life-
transforming reality in the lives of Christian people. The bars of sin’s prison were
broken on Easter Sunday and we are meant to live now as free people.
The time reference is important here. We have a past event of being united with
Christ in his death (Rom 6:2-6). This happened at our convertion and is publicly
attested by baptism. We have a future prospect of being fully united with Christ
in his resurrection (Rom 6:5). There is a present reality of no longer being slaves
to sin (Rom 6:6).
What does this mean in action? Very simply, there is to be no defeatism about sin
in the Christian life. We are to see ourselves as free from sin’s tyranny (Rom
6:11). We are to refuse its rule (Rom 6:12). we are to offer ourselves in God’s
service rather than that of sin (Rom 6:13).
But here we have a problem. Like paul we face a daily struggle between what we
know and want to do and what we actually do (Rom 7:14-23). This leaves us
feeling most wretched about ourselves as we trip and stumble and fall before sin
All this happens because our present share in the resurrection is incomplete. With
the whole of creation we await that day when Christ shall return, retire all things
to their created, order and God will be all in all (1 Cor 15:23-28).
In the meantime we turn to grace. This is the grace that exceeds our sin and our
guilt (TH 201). It is the grace that delivers us from sin’s penalty and also enables
us now to enter the struggle against its daily hold (Rom 6:14).