Living Daily in the Power of the Resurrection

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To continue with my theme from the last week’s series of blogs about the resurrection, there’s one more entry I’d like to post about what the resurrection does for us.

My most recent post was The Revolutionary Resurrection. In that post was a section called, “The Resurrection Reverses the Garden Curse.” I’d like to dig a little more deeply into that garden.

There are four things that Adam and Eve’s first sin brought to mankind that the resurrection of Jesus begins to reverse.

  • Fear
  • Death
  • Works
  • Slavery

Each of these four things didn’t exist prior to Adam and Eve’s sin, and each of these four things were dealt with by Jesus upon his bodily resurrection.

Fear to Courage

God warned the first couple about the effects of sin, should they engage in it. “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). Sure enough after both of them ate from the forbidden tree, they immediately began to experience sin’s effects. One of those effects was fear. “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid…’” (Genesis 3:8-10).

Jesus resurrection from the grave began the process of reversing our fear of God[1] to bring us courage when we face the Almighty. “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ (Romans 8:15).

Death to Life

The separation of the spirit from the body is another terrible curse that God warned our first parents about. Man was made a physical being and is not complete without his physicality. Sin brings death, but Jesus’ resurrection begins the reversal process from this terrible curse by guaranteeing us a resurrection from the dead like Jesus’ resurrection. “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” (Romans 6:5).

Works to Grace

Man’s natural inclination is to work for his salvation. Every religious system in existence shares one thing in common. Whatever their belief about eternal destiny, the religious adherent must earn their place in Heaven, or nirvana, or whatever the belief may be. Christianity is unique in that Jesus paid the penalty for our sin and grants us eternal life with him purely by unmerited favor and grace.

We see a taste of the works mentality in Adam and Eve right after they committed their first sin. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings” (Genesis 3:7).

The attitude of man when recognizing his shame is always to find a way to cover his shame by his own efforts. But even Adam and Eve recognized that their efforts were not good enough. For after sewing fig leaves together to cover themselves they still felt the need to hide: “I was naked so I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10).

Jesus resurrection provides a wonderful reversal from the works mentality. “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…For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:10-11,14).

Slavery to Freedom

Adam and Eve’s sin forever made them slaves to sin. “Through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners” (Romans 5:19). But Jesus’ death for sin provided forgiveness and his resurrection provides power for a new life. “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…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” (Romans 6:4-5,6-7).

Conclusion

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus provides far more to the Christian than we can outline here. Suffice it to say that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides us with real power to experience God, know him, and please him.
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[1] The Bible often talks about fearing the Lord. However, fear of the Lord in this context notes respect for great power. The fear of Genesis 3:10 is nothing more than terror.

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