iBY JORDAN MAYER
"If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you."
This is the kind of verse that makes my head hurt. Not because this verse is overly mysterious or confusing, actually it's quite clear. My difficulty lies in trying to wrap my finite, human mind around the immense and far-reaching implications of this verse.
One of the sweet pleasures of reading the Word is that we can never plumb the depths of its truth and goodness. We can continue to lower our bucket down into the well of His Word and pull it up full. This is how I see this verse in Romans 8. The more time spent meditating on it, the deeper these truths settle into the heart.
It's hard to expound any more on what Paul has so clearly laid out, so perhaps we just need to sit in this truth for a moment. First, that it was the work of the Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave. Here was the the Son of God. A battered and bloodied body, wrapped in cloth, and laid in a tomb. Satan seemingly prevailed. Death appeared to have had the last say. And yet, after three days, the tomb was gloriously empty! By the power of the Spirit, Jesus conquered the grave and rose to life again. And while that fact is amazing and miraculous on its own, the verse does not end there. The same Spirit that accomplished this work is the same Spirit that lives inside of us. And the same power that raised up Jesus is the same power that raises us up.
But I'll be honest, as I meditate on this verse, I can't help but cry out to God to forgive my puny faith. Like the father of the mute son, I say, "I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24). My human mind is so accustomed to boundaries and limitations that I am prone to impose them on the Spirit. I have to ask myself, do I live like I have that power inside of me? This verse is a reminder of the extent of that power. It is resurrection power. "So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:42-44) Just as the Spirit raised Jesus, I have been raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). This old self, this body of death, this sinful flesh...it's made new.
Whatever I may be facing in life, even the daily battle with my own sinful flesh, it is no match for the power of the Spirit. The Spirit empowers me to live this life, but it is also the promise of hope for something better (Ephesians 1:14). So many of the earthly realities we experience now find their ultimate fulfillment in heavenly ones.
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must point on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.' 'O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:52-57).
On this blessed Resurrection day, we celebrate life from death, hope from despair, and victory from defeat.