Summary: As a result of the resurrection, we can walk in newness of life
Newness of Life
Easter Sunday, March 31, 2002
A few weeks ago, we had the Bible Bowl memory buddy party at my house. The children who earn their way to this party learn verses with their memory buddy – usually a parent, grandparent or older sibling. We all have pizza and pop, and then watch a movie.
This is the third year we’ve done this, and in years past we watched Prince of Egypt, and Joseph King of Dreams. This year, we watched an animated version of the C.S. Lewis story, The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. If you’re not familiar with this story, it’s a wonderful allegory of the gospel, with a clear, compelling story of redemption.
Near the end of the movie, the Christ figure, the lion named Aslan, is killed on a stone table in place of one of the sons of Adam named Edmund. After two young girls come to unwrap the lifeless Aslan from the ropes that bind him, they turn away in grief and anguish that he’s gone.
Of course, being an allegory of the gospel story, Aslan doesn’t stay dead. He rises from the dead and startles the girls at first. Then, they rejoice that he’s alive again.
During the scene in which they’re rejoicing that Aslan’s alive again, and they’re dancing around, Aslan begins leaping around a meadow that was formerly lifeless. That’s because the witch of the story, the Satan figure, had made everything winter, and never Christmas. Everything was grey and dull.
But as the risen Aslan began to leap around the meadow, everywhere he landed, bright green grass and flowers pop up out of the ground. I had already sensed clearly from the Lord the passage of scripture we’ll be looking on this resurrection Sunday. So when I saw this scene with the Bible Bowl kids, I thought, this is but one example of the phrase we see clearly related to the resurrection in Romans 6:4, which we’ll read here in a moment.
Newness of Life – the title of this Easter message today.
As Aslan, who was dead and gone but now lived, bounced around that meadow, everything he touched became new and alive. The Word of God credits the resurrection of our Lord Jesus with the newness of life that comes from being in Christ.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
I love that phrase: newness of life.
I’ve spent a few weeks now thinking about that phrase, studying this passage and other passages that talk about the new life we have in Christ. The Word says to inherit the Kingdom of God, we must be born again. When I visited Steve and Chris Staub this week, hours after the birth of their new daughter, Eryn Elizabeth, I was again amazed and delighted by the wonder of new life.
As wonderful as new human life is, what’s even more incredible, wondrous, and amazing, is what God does in our lives by virtue of the Resurrection we celebrate this morning.
On the cross, which we remembered on Friday, Jesus paid the penalty for our sins....
The first part of Romans 6:4 says that in baptism, we are buried with him, identified with Him, in that death. But, with His resurrection, He took our dead flesh and made us new creations…
What an awesome thing to ponder! Let’s read Romans 6:4 in context now:
Romans 6:1-11 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We 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.
5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.