Newness of Life
"We have been buried therefore with him by baptism into death, 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." (Romans 6.4 )
The story of Lazarus is a striking image that looks forward to the death of sin and our resurrection to the newness of life. Jesus tells Martha before Jesus raises Lazarus, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?
Martha responds positively, but she did not entirely understand what Jesus meant. This was before the cross. There was still a veil over her eyes keeping her from seeing the truth of what this means. As we read Romans 6, Paul fills in what Jesus meant. Our death is a death to sin as we share in Christ’s death through baptism. As Christians we are able to walk (and should walk) in the newness of life. In a sense our death has already happened in the past.
We now can look forward with a new perspective. We can be easily distracted from living in this newness. The world with its many new devices, the internet, and its varying lusts can trick us into thinking that we can find more contentment in it than in our life in Christ. The world offers its own efforts at "newness of life." This can make us feel anxious, guilty, and angry living in the tension between the two. Paul reminds us, though, that we can walk in the newness of life because we have been "buried...with him." We can put that anxiety, guilt, and anger behind us as we remember Jesus’ work on the cross and his victory over the grave. Death is not our enemy anymore. We can actually be comforted that our physical death means that we will be present with the Lord. Paul was torn between serving here on earth and going home to the Lord. This is the attitude that we ought to cultivate as we grow in Christ and as we are reminded of the truth of dying to sin and being raised in the newness of life.
--J. Andersen 02/26/16