Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless, Righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace
One with himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
- Charitie Lees Bancroft, “Before the Throne of God Above”
As we noted in our previous post, it is incredible that a man who died should live again. Death is irreversible in our human experience. We cannot do a single thing to fix it. We have no tool or technology to restore life where death has planted its flag. A corpse doesn’t come with an undo button. But Jesus does. He is risen indeed.
Yet this good news of Christ’s resurrection becomes even better news when we realize that Jesus actually shares his new life with those who trust him. In other words, the objective reality of Christ’s resurrection becomes a subjective reality when we authentically believe into that resurrection (Romans 10:9-10). His victory becomes our victory. His story becomes our story. His life becomes our life. The Apostle Paul put it like this:
“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection” (Romans 6:3-5).
The theological progression is climactic and reassuring:
• His death is my death.
• His burial is my burial.
• His resurrection is my resurrection.
• His ascension is my ascension.
This is the love-power of God that results in a covenantal union of the Savior with the saved. We’re in the family of God now, and Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers (Hebrews 2:11). There’s no other word for this but “grace.”
• Jesus aced the test and put the grade in your file.
• Jesus won the fight and pinned the medals on your chest.
• Jesus destroyed the power of death and will let you stand over it one day with your foot on its neck.
These are just some of the benefits that flow to those who believe. The Apostle John highlighted these benefits, making them a “mega-theme” of his Gospel. Notice how he repeatedly underscores the fact that the resurrection of Jesus anticipates the resurrection and eternal life of all his followers:
• John 3:15-16 (whoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life)
• John 3:36 (whoever believes in the Son has eternal life)
• John 4:13-14 (a spring of living water welling up to eternal life)
• John 5:21 (the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it)
• John 5:24-29 (the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and live)
• John 6:27 (eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you)
• John 6:39-40, 43 (I will raise him up at the last day)
• John 6:54 (eat my flesh; drink my blood; I will raise him up at the last day)
• John 8:51 (anyone who keeps my word will never see death)
• John 10:28 (I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish)
• John 11:25 (I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me will never die)
• John 14:1-3 (I am going to my Father’s house to prepare a place for you)
• John 14:19 (because I live, you also will live)
• John 17:1-4 (the Son gives eternal life to all the Father has given him)
Charles Wesley understood the covenantal union accomplished by the resurrection, and he penned these memorable words in light of it:
Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
The benefits of Christ’s resurrection flow to all believers. So let’s not wait until next Easter to sing—or at least ponder—these great truths.