Tuesday, February 20
"Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life."
When I lived in North Carolina, I had a friend at church named Darrell. Darrell was one of the funniest guys I knew, and we loved to hang out together. Darrell had a unique job…he was a mortician. I think I could handle many tasks in my life, but doing that for a living takes a guy like Darrell.
As I was reading the verse of the day, I thought about an aspect of Darrell’s job. He would spend hours making a dead person look alive: Embalming the body, using makeup, dressing them in nice clothes, jewelry, and even brushing their hair. I bet he spent more time on each person he was preparing for a funeral then he spent on himself in a month! All to give the appearance that the person who is in the casket is not dead.
Paul, when writing to the believers in Rome, is trying to encourage them that when they were baptized, it represented the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. When was the last time you thought about baptism being the death and burial of Christ? We all hear the words spoken by the pastor when he is getting ready to put a person under the water, but we are waiting for the punchline ... the resurrection part ... the “get up and clap” part of the event. Paul wanted to remind the believers in Rome, as well as us today, that understanding our salvation allows us to put to death our old self, bury it, walk about the “tomb” of our sin, and be made new.
In the last part of that verse, Paul says that “Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we, too, might walk in newness of life.” Take a second and think on that statement. The same glory, power, and incredible might that allowed Jesus to walk out of that tomb on the third day is the same glory, power, and might that allow us to be a new creation, a follower of Christ, a servant of the great I AM.
I think there are many times we are content to allow ourselves to have the spiritual version of Darrell work on us. We feel alone, isolated, burned out, dead inside, and we just put on a mask and façade like everything is okay. If we want to reboot our passion for following God, it starts by remembering what it was like to know that the life you had before Christ is now dead. The person who moved forward from that point is “walking in the newness of life,” a life that is fueled by the same power that allowed our Savior to rise from the dead.
Lord, let today be a day when I walk in the new way of life. Let my attitude, compassion, drive, and integrity allow people to see how Christ has changed me.
- Pastor Dave