'We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.'
Romans 6v4-7 (NIV)
Restricted. Confined. Bound. We all long to be set free from the confines of our homes. We want to break free from the hold this virus has on us, to enjoy the freedom of life outside our 'captivity'. Now, the way we might be feeling physically is a great picture of how our lives really are. We like to think we are free, yet in reality we are restricted and bound, we are 'ruled by sin' and are 'slaves to sin.' We were made for something better and greater, but we are living under the 'hold' of sin. Just think about it; Why do I say things I regret? Why do I get angry? Why do I put myself first? True Freedom is found when we live life as God intends - loving God and loving others. Anything else isn't freedom, but slavery and death. However, Christ has set us free: 'just as Christ was raised from the dead...we too may live a new life.' By his resurrection he sets us free from the rule of sin and free from slavery to sin. So how do we experience this new freedom?
First, we are raised with Christ. Through faith we are united to Christ: 'if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united in a resurrection like his.' That does not mean we die and rise in exactly the same way as Christ, rather his death becomes my death and his resurrection my resurrection. We are buried with Christ into death and raised with Christ unto life.
My old life is dead and buried, and my new life is raised and living. The resurrection of Christ enables us to live the life God designed for us. A life where we are free.
Second, we are raised for Freedom. Imagine the joy and excitement when we are 'set free' from our homes. No longer held in captivity. Well Christ has set us free to be free! He has dealt with the old life, by dying for us so that 'the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.' The 'hold' sin has over us has now been broken. We are released - what joy! We now have the ability to resist sin and say no to sin. Sometimes we do and we will say 'yes' to the old life, but I no longer have to live in captivity. In fact, once united with Christ I can never be held in sins captivity again. We have now been given a new life so that we can live under God's loving rule - free to love God and free to love others.
When we turn to God in faith, God joins our life with the life of Jesus, his Son. United with Christ, we now have a new life and a new freedom. We are set free forever, to live and flourish as God intended.
Thank you Father that through faith my life is united to the life of your Son Jesus Christ. Thank you for releasing me from the rule of sin and giving me a new way to live under your loving rule. Help me to live as one who is free and not as a slave.