Is there not some danger of lingering too exclusively at the cross to the exclusion of the grave of Jesus? In other words, do we give the subject of Christ’s resurrection that place in our faith and meditation which we give to His death and which God gives it in the great scheme of our salvation? Essential and precious as the atoning death of Jesus is, it had availed us nothing apart from His resurrection. We needed more than death; we needed life! We needed more than the bond presented by divine justice and paid; we needed the seal of its acceptance on the part of God. This was given when God raised up Jesus from the dead: ”who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
Christ’s resurrection from the grave by the power of God was the Father’s attestation to the completeness of the Son’s work and His public acknowledgment of its acceptance. Thus the resurrection of Christ is to us what a legal acknowledgment is at the hands of a creditor whose claim has been met, whose bond is cancelled. The believing soul sees in the emptied tomb of Jesus the evidence and the acknowledgment of his full discharge from all the demands of law and all the threatenings of justice. Now it is the power of this truth in our souls that more immediately concerns us. The resurrection of Jesus is an accomplished fact; what we want to experience is His resurrection-life in our heart.
We first feel this when we realize our mystical union with Jesus. There can be no experience of the power of anything apart from a personal contact with it. Let us first settle the question, “Am I one with Christ?” Have I a vital and spiritual union with the Saviour? If so, then I am risen with Him. O my soul, consider into what an exalted and blessed state your union with Christ places you, making you through free and sovereign grace a partaker of all that He was, of all that He now is, and of all that He will be when He comes with all His saints in majesty and glory.
By the power of Christ’s resurrection, we enter into a new, or resurrection-life. Our blessed Lord, when He rose from the dead, rose with a new-born life. Leaving in the tomb the grave-clothes, He came back clad with His resurrection robes, a new and wondrous life! Of this resurrection-life all are partakers who know the power of His resurrection. O my soul, fear not, then, that anything shall ever separate you from Christ. This cannot be since your spiritual life is bound up and hidden with the resurrection-life of Jesus.
The power of Jesus’ resurrection is experienced by us when by it we rise above earth and ”seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.” Has Jesus risen? Then we also must rise. As He left death and earth behind Him, so we, if we be risen with Him, “through faith of the operation of God, who raised Him from the dead,” must rise superior to the deadly pomps and vanities of this poor world, and walk with God in “newness of life.” Oh to feel the “power of His resurrection” in a life dead to sin and the world, but living to holiness and God!
Taken from Consider Jesus: Thoughts for Daily Duty, Service, and Suffering by Octavius Winslow, 1870 (public domain).
Edited and abbreviated by Aaron Dunlop for this blog ©thinkgospel.com.