“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ, and raised us up with Him, and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”
Americans have a peculiar fascination with death now-a-days. TV, movies, even video games all feature characters classified as the living dead. And this week is a holiday of sorts that celebrates such ungodly notions. The fact is – our God is interested in life, not death!
One of the most important truths in all of Christianity is stated right here: We are made alive together with Christ. Notice that Paul says with Christ three times: We are made alive with Christ. We are raised up with Christ. We are made to sit with Him. He has come to live in us, and He has joined Himself to us, and we are one person with Him. That is the most important fact upon which to build all the rest of Christian faith and experience—this great, tremendous statement that we are made alive with Jesus Christ.
Do you remember how the Lord Himself taught that? He said, "I am the vine; you are the branches" (John 15:5a). Can you tell where the branch ends and the vine starts? No. They are one plant, sharing one life together. We are no longer just ordinary human beings. We are new creations, begun again, linked with the life of Jesus Christ.
Later in this letter Paul likens the church to a body of which Christ is the head. Have you examined your body lately? Have you noticed that your fingers don’t come off if you merely twist them a half-turn and pull? They are tied to the body, and they share the life of the body. They are not attached by any mechanical process, but rather they are an organic part. These figures are all given to us to show us the intimate way we are united to Jesus Christ, to tell us that He is our life.
So this week, be sure and celebrate life not death!