The Day In-Between

April 7, 2012

Romans 8:1-11

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

The Christian faith is a life and death matter!  The life and death of Jesus Christ, which we have pondered during Lent, are both significant for the life and death we experience as human beings.  The Apostle Paul was well aware that the death of Jesus on our behalf was not his only calling.  The thirty-three year life of Jesus accomplished something, too.  He faced the challenges of mortal “weakness” without succumbing to sin (Heb 4:15), he modeled “walking in the Spirit” as redeemed day-to-day behavior, and by giving it purpose and meaning he proved that this life—as we know it—is worth living.

But here is the staggering news well worth remembering on this “in between day” of Holy Saturday, falling between Good Friday and Easter:  the very same life that invigorated Jesus during his thirty-three years and then raised him from the dead dwells in us!  Stop and think what this means, Paul urges:  you have this same life now, giving energy to this old sack of bones you carry around with you every day.  The Spirit that called Jesus Christ out of the grave is the same Spirit giving life to you, oh mortal.  Despite your physical limitations, despite your age, despite your discouragements or the roadblocks in your path, despite your mortality, the Spirit of God is at work in you to empower life this side of death.

Experiencing this Spirit-filled life day by day actually prepares us to face our physical death with joy and anticipation of life after death.  Death is a transition from “this life” to the “next,” but it is your one continuous life that is being sustained by God’s eternal Spirit.  Wow!

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2 Responses to “The Day In-Between”

  1. Houston Hodges Says:

    Wow!

  2. Viola Larson Says:

    A third wow from me. Thank you Mary.

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