I’m not a knowledgeable gardener, but I do like to putter around in the yard. The beauty of God’s natural creation amazes me, especially in the spring. New life comes from death. The bare, brown trees begin to bud and then soon their green leaves are blowing in the breeze. And here in the moderate climate of West Texas even some of my “annuals” are reappearing.
Planting flowers and digging in the dirt always reminds me of the Creator. In addition to the obvious reason that God made it all, His natural world also gloriously demonstrates spiritual truth. For instance, every individual seed has potential for new life. One small seed can produce a multitude of other seeds. But first, the seed must die and be buried in the ground. Only through death is new life possible.
Just days before His arrest, Jesus used this very analogy to illustrate the purpose behind His own death. “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds (John 12:24).” Jesus’ death and burial provided new spiritual life for many. Jesus’ death was the payment our sins deserved. This “one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men (Romans 5:18).” Without His death we would still be dead in our sins. His death gave us life.
But Jesus’ death and burial did not complete His work of salvation. Jesus’ death paid the debt for sin, but the power to live a new life came through the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, sin and death no longer have power over Him. Jesus died once to sin and death. He cannot die again. These things have forever lost their mastery over Him (Romans 6:9-10).
Good Friday and Easter Sunday commemorate the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Christians remember and celebrate what Jesus did to make our salvation possible. But have you experienced Easter personally? In the book of Romans, Paul said we must follow Jesus’ example. We, too, should experience death, burial, and resurrection.
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness? Or course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with Him? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised as He was. Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share His new life.
Romans 6:1-8, NLT
Jesus’ death not only bought our eternal salvation. His resurrection provides us with the power to live victoriously in this life. We have no excuse to live as slaves to sin. Sin has no power over us. If we’ve died with Christ – surrendered our lives to Him – then we have been set free from sin’s power. We now have the power to live new lives, obediently following Jesus.
Jesus wants us to be like the seed. We die to ourselves – our own way, our own desires, our own will – so we can be raised to live a new life in Christ. Our life can then point others to the Giver of Life. Will you take Easter personally this year?
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, NIV