They say only two things are certain: Death and taxes.
I suppose we could think of tax as one of a citizen’s liabilities in a contract between a nation and its citizens. A contract that’s broken by death.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to escape our bondage to taxes through death but then to come back to life and still be able to live a full life?
The theology of Easter
Paul addresses this very scenario in Romans 7. He says “While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions… were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.” In other words, because we were alive, because of our citizenship in the kingdom of sin, we were under the law… we were bound to “pay taxes.”
But then he goes on to say “But now we are released from the law.” How? How does one get released from his obligations as a citizen of the kingdom of sin? There is only one way. He has to die. “We are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive.”
For the believer, we are not bound to pay our dues to the kingdom of sin for one reason: We are dead. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death?” (Romans 6:3). Paul summarises in v. 4 this most relevant and powerful theology of Easter: “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death.” Why? “In order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
We are no longer bound to sin for one reason: We died with Jesus Christ. On the other hand, we are alive and free to love and fellowship with God for one reason: We were raised with Jesus Christ!
The great theological theme of Easter is the believer’s union with Jesus Christ. To be more specific, spiritual baptism, a term taken from Romans 6:4.
The point of Easter
The point of Easter is not just that Jesus was raised from the dead. Others have been raised. The point is that he rose from a death he never had to die. A death he died for us.
In his death, Jesus took the condemnation of the ages on himself. If we were to die under our condemnation, we would surely be dead forever. But he took all that and still conquered death!
The point of Easter is not just that Jesus was raised from the dead. The point of Easter is that we have been raised from the dead! Because of our unity with Christ in his death, we have escaped the power of sin! Because of our unity with Christ in his resurrection, we will live forever!
Are you united with Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection? Have you been baptised by the Spirit of God? If so, then this week is a time of great celebration for you.
Because he lives, we live.
Grace to you.