J. Grant Swank, Jr.
". . .walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
God has already proven Himself two thousand years ago. Death was followed with life. Jesus was there to reveal it. Disciples saw and handled it. They ate with Him, walked and talked with Him. Life! "I am the
. . .the Life."
Therefore, proved in its apex, it is now proven over and over again in each cross bearer's experience. Christian witness has given repeated testimony to the victorious life presence.
Buried with Christ, raised with Christ, walking in newness of life.
Again, we come upon the divine chronology. There is first the one component, then the next and then the next. Order, design.
We then have hope. It is the believing that makes the glory possible. Faith is power in that it propels component into component according to heaven's scheduling.
Yet we want to mix things up so as to be wiser than heaven. We have a plan and it should be thus and that. We also have a calendar on which to pin the plan. Therefore, we bring this blueprint to heaven for heaven's smile. We even beg for heaven's approval. Sometimes we ask other believers to engage their intercessions with yours in order to convince heaven by numbers.
All this is "of the flesh." God is patient with us; but He is not pleased with us. He wants us to learn how to yield to the divine chronology. It is the death, then the rising, then the newness of life. Yet how we yearn for the life first, second and last.
Indeed, the gracious God is kind in permitting certain snatches of life even in the baptism to death. Jesus saw the life even while dying. He saw the life come into the repentant thief's eyes, then his soul. That was encouraging to Jesus even while tied to the tree.
Jesus saw the life commitment in John when this man agreed to oversee the care of Jesus' mother. Such comradeship was comfort to Jesus even while suffering his last pangs.
Jesus saw the tearful allegiance of mother Mary, crumpled at the cross' hole in the earth. As Jesus, Son, looked on at mother's woe, yet mother not leaving her Son to desertion, Jesus was consoled even while in the last agonies of Golgotha.
Jesus saw the Roman soldier begin to move away from a callused empire-loyal heart toward a recognition that the hanging One might just in fact be the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. In that Jesus was enlivened while in His final moments upon the timber.
There is the newness of life budding even now in your distress. See it. It is there. Then it vanishes. Why? For at least in this brief time frame, there is more for you to learn from the awful cross cut into your soul's shoulder. Nevertheless, the newness is birthed where you are now. It will come into full life in heaven's calendar.
Have faith. It is so just as it was so in the biography of Jesus Christ.