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What Does the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Mean for You?



We think far too much about death as a termination of life. But that is really only true of biology. The bible tells us that life in some future sense is eternal. In fact, the essence of human life never ends. When our human bodies are eventually separated from the breath with which God animates them, and they return to the dust from which they were made, the conscious, volitional part of us remains – either in the presence of God's goodness, love and glory, or outside of that presence and in the company of those who selfishly hate both God and his goodness. So what then is death? There are no simple answers which capture all of death’s meaning, but every definition of death does share one element. All death is separation from spirit. When Adam and Eve sinned, and God told them that they would surely die because of it, he meant that their biological bodies would be separated from the spirits with which he enlivened them, but what we miss in that story is that he also meant that while those bodies and spirits were still entangled with one another, that they would be separated from him. This is why the more the human race sinned, the more it hated God. Ultimately, some humans lost awareness of God altogether (Genesis 6:5). They were dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3).  Dead to what? They were dead to God, but not to their selfish desires. All of us have been in that condition to one degree or another.


You can see a version of this process in the life of anyone who is addicted to anything. The object of their addiction begins to dominate their life so much that they become dead to everything else. For instance, A woman begins to use alcohol to manage her suffering, and she becomes increasingly deadened to real pleasures. But she is never dead to the pain that the abuse of alcohol certainly brings. This is a kind of hell. Pornography replaces real intimacy, and a man becomes deadened to love and sacrificial relationship, but he is never dead to the insatiable thirst for puerile, self-centered, novel fantasy. This is a kind of hell. A teen’s video game blinds him to real experience and deadens him to the adventure outside of his four walls. He then misses out on a life of real play and enjoyable self-development as he begins to pave a road to a kind of hell. 


This is what it means to be dead in trespasses and sins. It means to be dead to the God who made you and who enlivens you. The more dead to him you become, the more “alive” you become to selfish desires which enslave you and which ultimately kill your body and permanently separate you from the experience of God’s goodness. Before we knew Christ, we were all in that situation - dead to God and alive to sin, which was a self-inflicted punishment that every human deserved. But thanks be to God that because he loved humanity in general, and you in particular, that he went all or nothing and fully sacrificed himself in human form to pay the full price of death on your behalf by willfully being separated from the spirit, face, goodness, and power of God the Father (Matthew 27:46, Hebrews 12:2)! He did this for the joy set before him, which was the joy of reuniting himself with the father, and melding you into that family. But the greatest miracle of all of that is when he was resurrected from the dead, both bodily and spiritually, proving his power and giving you the realization that you can be alive to God and dead to sin (Romans 6:1-11).  Just as he rose from a dark tomb separated from the light in a world bent on killing him, you too can rise from a tomb of sin that keeps you separated from the light of God, and that prevents you from enjoying his goodness with complete joy and the truest pleasures that sit at God’s right hand (Psalm 16:9-11). Plus, you get a brand new body that is dead to sin! He’s given you the power to go all in. Will you do it?

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