'He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.'
Romans 4v25-5v2 (NIV)
We are all learning to change and adapt to our 'new reality'. Parents are learning the skills of home schooling, gym teacher and art therapist all rolled into one. Others are adapting to working from home or perhaps isolated from home because of their work. Children are learning to play with siblings and not relying on trips to, and treats at, Mahon point. It's hard work and it's exhausting. But there is something else that's new. Its neither demanding nor crushing - it's freeing and fulfilling. Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ we have a New Identity that gives us access to riches we never thought possible. Christ 'was raised to life for our justification... through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.' That might seem more confusing than helpful, but don't stop reading, it is good news. So how does the resurrection of Jesus give me a new and rich identity?
First, because of Jesus I have a new identity. Without Jesus I stand before God as guilty. I have broken God's good and loving laws by living according to my own laws. My identity is as a law breaker. The good news is Jesus 'was delivered over to death for our sins'. Jesus was treated as guilty for me and died for me. But more than that, Jesus was 'raised to life for our justification.' 'Justification' is a legal term and is a declaration by God that you are Not Guilty. Rather than be treated as a law breaker which I do deserve, I am treated as a law keeper which I don't deserve. When Jesus was raised, God was declaring that Jesus' death was sufficient to deal with all our sin so that we could live out our new identity.
Because of the resurrection of Jesus I no longer live according to my old life, but I live according to my new life. I have a new identity, a new status a new position. I am forever accepted by God.
Second because of Jesus I have new riches. Once declared 'right' before God I now have access to treasures and riches that will keep me and sustain me through life. This is not a status that changes according to my behaviour. God has made an irreversible declaration - I am now treated as a law keeper. So what are these riches? (i) 'We have peace with God'. I enjoy my relationship with God rather than run in fear from God. I have become his eternal son or daughter.
(ii) 'Grace in which we now stand'. Declared 'not guilty' does not mean I never fail or mess up, I do. But it does mean, that when I sin I don't need to earn my way back to God. I stand secure and safe with him. (iii) 'The hope of the glory of God'. We live in a broken diseased and death infested world. But that will all one day change. The glory to come is a renewed and restored world. These are the treasures we have access to because of my new identity.
This new identity is open to all 'through faith'. We gain access 'by faith'. Faith means I no longer look to self but only to Jesus, and, I no longer look to who I once was but who I am now because of Jesus.
Thank you Jesus for your resurrection that gives me a new identity and access to daily and future riches. Thank you that because of Jesus I am no longer seen or treated as a law breaker, but treasured as a law keeper. Help me to look in faith at who I am and not what I was.