Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- April 24, 2011
“For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Romans 5:10
The death of Jesus leads to the life of Jesus. This is God’s pattern for the follower of Jesus. Death leads to life. The Cross of Christ reconciled us to God by faith. The Resurrection of Christ empowered us for God by faith. The cross leads to the Resurrection and the Resurrection points back to the cross.
You can’t have one without the other. If the cross were the finality of Christ’s work, then you would have no power to live the Christian life. If the Resurrection had no cross, then you would still be condemned in your sin. The Christian who celebrates the cross, but does not embrace the Resurrection, will live a life of defeat.
However, you do not have to live defeated, because Christ did rise from His grave. He arose to validate the significance of the cross and to prove His claims of Deity. But He did not stop with reconciliation to God. He also arose from the dead to give you His life. His resurrected life provides you with the power needed to follow, obey, and enjoy Him. His life in you emboldens you to witness for Him. His life in you sanctifies you during suffering.
His life in you allows you to persevere, builds your character, and gives you hope. It is the life of Christ that energizes you to live for Christ. You can declare, as Paul did, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
This is living the resurrected life. It is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). You cannot live properly and purely without your resurrected Lord, Jesus, reigning over you and living through you. Without the life of Christ your faith is anemic, but with the life of Christ it comes alive. His life saves you from yourself to Himself. He moves you from reckless relationships to robust relationships.
He guides you from financial servitude to financial faithfulness. He spares you from selfish whims to unselfish service. He counsels you from irresponsible decisions to wise choices. He saves you from a life of drifting to one of determination to follow God. You are reconciled to God for the purpose of unleashing His life through you by faith. Die daily so that you can allow His life to live through you.
Do not capitulate to casual Christianity, for the tomb is empty of Jesus so that your heart can be full of Jesus. His grave is lifeless so that you can have life. The cross is about dying. The Resurrection is about living. His life in you is the life you longed for; so let Him live there by faith. Death leads to life, and life points back to death. He lives in you to live through you.
Taken from the April 28th reading in the 365-day devotional book Seeking Daily the Heart of God.
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