The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single greatest event in history. At times Christians overlook that fact, with so much emphasis rightly placed on the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross. According to 1 Corinthians 15, though, the atonement would be in vain without Christ’s victorious resurrection: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (vs. 17). Christ’s atonement and victory over sin and death was made complete when He rose from the dead.
“Because I live, you also will live.”
Christ’s resurrection takes on even greater significance when we realize that it is vicarious. According to Christ, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). As believers are identified with Christ, not only does His payment for sin become ours, but the life He gained is credited to us as well. Our standing before God is entirely free from sin as we are robed in Christ’s righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). Christ, our mediator, stands at the Father’s right hand and “ever lives to make intercession” for us (Hebrews 7:25). Through his victory over death, we have “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven” (1 Peter 1:4).
Living in Christ
Though we won’t realize the full benefit of these truths until we reach glory, we do experience aspects of Christ’s vicarious death and resurrection while still on earth. 2 Corinthians 5:15 reveals that “he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Because of this, believers have the power to die to themselves and live to Him. And as we live for Christ through His power, we enjoy an ever-growing experience of the vicarious resurrection of Christ. This is what Romans 6:4 describes as walking in “newness of life.”
This Easter, let’s rejoice in the vicarious resurrection of Christ and the life He gives us through it. May we truly live today through Christ’s resurrection.
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