Home > Lectionary Reflections > Raised with Christ?

Raised with Christ?

One of things that the all the major Christian communions more of less agree upon is the sacramental of baptism.  As Paul writes in Romans 6:

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

Paul reminds us that baptism is the sign and seal our dying with Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.  As a human brother, Jesus is the one who represents us and we are called to share in his life.  Our baptism is in part the sign and seal of our sharing in Christ’s death according to Paul.

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. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” (Romans 6:5-10, TNIV)
Paul then tells us that this dying with Christ was for a purpose.  Just as we share in his death, so too we might experience his resurrection – not only in a spiritual sense in this life, but in a very literal sense at the general resurrection.

In my Church and Sacraments class this past fall was the first time I ever really was forced to take a serious look at the doctrine of the resurrection as a future eschatalogical event.  As I discovered, the general resurrection (discussed extensively in 1 Corinthians 15) will be a future event in which all people will be raised physically in “spiritual bodies”.

What good is the resurrection?  Very simple – death does not have the final answer.  As Christians we believe that bodily death, while universal, is not the last chapter of a persons’ life.  We affirm that all will be raised to stand before Jesus Christ – the Lord of the Universe.  The hope for Christians is that even in the midst of a tragic death is that death does not have the last say in a persons’ life, regardless of how tragic the death might have been.

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