Good Friday is about the death of Jesus on the Cross. And as I said on that day, you dying with Him there.
Today is Easter. The Third Day. Resurrection Day. The Day of Life.
Here is what I left out from the excerpt in my upcoming eBook The Path of Freedom: Few find it. Fewer walk it. Be one of the few. This book will be released soon to blog subscribers. Make sure you are subscribed so that you’ll get it directly in your e mail inbox FREE when it drops. Subscribe via the form at the bottom of this post, or via the link at the top, or to the right of this page.
“…do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (3-11)
When Christ died on the Cross, you were in Him. Somehow, some way, literally in Him. When Christ was laid in the tomb, you were there too. Blessedly, when Christ walked out, alive, so too did you, friend.
These are true, whether you can wrap your belief around them at this point or not. But I will submit that once you do believe this, Freedom will become clearer.
The New King James translation uses the word “reckon” in Verse 11 to describe how we are to approach receiving this truth. We do not reckon something to be true only after seeing it happen, but we are to reckon it to be true before we see it happen. Is God a liar if, after reckoning ourselves dead to sin, we soon after fall back into sin? Does this nullify God’s Word? Most would indicate so, as most become disappointed and quit. This is not Freedom.
Instead, we can repent and go right back to reckoning – which is to say trusting what God says is True, even when we don’t feel like it, or see evidence of it.
Here’s what happens: God rewards our reckoning. That faith and trust in what He has said opens the door toward the evidence of that faith – fruit. He delights to see us believing in (reckoning upon) His Word, even and especially when it seems impossible! He wants us to believe having not seen; so that then we can begin to see the truth of that which we have believed. Eventually we begin to see that our reckoning begins to produce fruit. Sin will be broken, not just in theory, but in actual practice. Freedom will be ours, not just in principle, but in fact.
There is a newness of Life that you have been resurrected into, where there is no longer a slave relationship to sin as our master. This Eternal, Abundant, Kingdom Life is that which we have been speaking of as a present reality, a present Life. It is Christ – The Gate and The Path. It is Freedom.
In Romans 7 we can appreciate the angst picture that Paul paints – that of the wrestling of two seemingly opposing natures within us. If we begin to appreciate and even believe what we’ve seen Paul show us up to this point, why then do we do the very things we do not want to do, the very things we hate?
We are born into a marriage union. Just as in the covenant of man and wife, where 2 are enjoined as one in the spiritual, and in the Law – there is nothing, save death, that should separate, or release those binds of the Law. We are bound to our spouse while living; but if our spouse dies, we then are free to be married to a new spouse.
We enter this life in the natural, bound, in slavery to, married in Paul’s metaphor, to the Law. We are held captive by the attempt to fulfill this Law, all the while doing so in our own flesh and strength. This is impossible. This is death spiritually. There is a force indwelling that is beyond our natural ability to overcome it. This is the sin Tree – the nature of The Knowledge of Good and Evil that our kind deposited into us in the Garden. Remember, this is enlightened human life form, and is no match for the satanic, angelic life form that lies, tempts and accuses us.
So while we try our best to “do good” and “avoid evil” in the knowledge of our flesh and the power of our own strength – we fail – because it is impossible to overcome in this way. We are in bondage, slavery to this indwelling nature. The Law of sin and death will reign every time when approached on this ground.
So many camp out in Romans 1-5, content to be “saved,” pleased to sit inside the threshold of The Gate. Frequently, though, this approach is wrought with bondage, because, while an eternal destination may be secure, Freedom in Life are not found there. We stay married to the wrong force, under the wrong Law.
For many others who see The Path, and begin it’s trek, we can commiserate with Paul in Romans 7. We try. Hard. But we cannot do it. The walk is too hard, too uphill, too treacherous.
This is good. It is good for us to realize our utter incapability on our own. That we would all reach this kind of despair, to where we can place zero confidence in our Self and flesh, and begin to look Up for Help – and reach the point as Paul reached in Romans 7:24 of,
“Oh wretched man am I! Who can save me?…”
It is good to see that our basic human condition is self-indulgence and self-centeredness. It is Self. Period. When we take up our cross and follow Jesus, when we walk The Path, we deny this Self. We decrease, He increases. Christ takes preeminence. No man can serve 2 masters. Freedom is moving self-centered people to Christ-centered people. This is the Plan, the Purpose. The Self is a body of death, and it hinders the Eternal Plan of Christ.
“Who will set me Free from this body of death?”
“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” – 7:25
What Paul has been building in the first seven Chapters crescendo in the magnificent Chapter 8.
The Law of Moses or God, and the Law of sin and death cannot deliver us from bondage, into Freedom. In fact, their very purpose is to point us toward that fact, that reckoning – that there must be another Law, another betrothal, whereby Freedom is found.
Gloriously, there is, and it is the Law of Life.
As we reckon our death to our old man, our death with Christ, and subsequent being raised the same with Him – we may begin to see our rightful release from the old Law, and the sin Law indwelling.
When we reckon in belief the new Life we are enjoined in, Christ, which is God’s very Life in us – we may begin to see that no other life forms, including satanic, angelic life – have power over this new Life.
The Spirit and Christ and the Father is in us. All Three. His Life, His nature, His character, His power, His Love, His holiness – in us. Divine, Superlative, uncreated, eternal, Abundant, Kingdom, Zōē Life. In. Us. God’s Life triumphs all others – including the sin Tree, and the Self. Once we can reckon this as True, we can be Free.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” – 8:2
The Christian Life is no longer one of trying. We realize that we cannot “do good” and “avoid evil.” Instead, we turn to our inner man, that is Christ and His Life, to overcome. We are Free in this:
“It is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.” – Galatians 2:20
Freedom is not something to work for, to achieve by doing one thing and avoiding another. It is not something to be fought for, or won. No, Freedom is instead a reality to die in to.
In walking The Path, we reckon, we choose to believe and follow, and in doing so, little by little, we die. Self is given over to Christ as He is increased, and we are decreased. The Law of religion, and the Law of sin fall under the crushing weight of the third Law, the Best Law – the Law of Life.
What is the significance of this? What does it mean for us to believe that we have not only been crucified with Christ on a dark Friday 2000 years ago, but to have walked out of that tomb alive with Him three days later?
It means everything.
Happy Easter. He is Risen. The Tomb is Empty. Jesus Lives.