By Brad Whitelaw
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:1-13)
No one will argue that we are all going to die. Death is a reality. We are all “dead man walking.” We all have a beginning, and we all have an end.
I typically don’t like it when people “butt” in front of me. However, after reading Ephesians 2:1-13, I am so thankful that God “buts” in. The text says, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.” Then again in the final verse: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”
It is Christ’s death, his resurrection, and our faith in him that eradicates the deadly effects of sin and allows us to be truly alive. This Easter may we all recognize how dead we are without Christ. And may we all realize how alive we are because of what Christ did for us on the cross by shedding his blood. And may we all experience the privilege of walking with God, not just for another day but for eternity because of what Christ accomplished for us on the cross.
“Everyone will die, but not everyone will die alive.” What does this mean? What are the implications of this statement for you?
Father, thank you for “butting” in. Thank you for your great love for us. Thank you that you did not leave us dead in our transgressions but instead, being rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ when we placed our faith in him. Thank you, Jesus, for going to the cross, for dying in my place, so that I may live. Thank you that, even though I was so far away from God, I was brought near to him through the shedding of your blood. God, what words do you offer someone who died in your place? The only words I can think of that are sufficient are “thank you,” and I will accept this new life you are offering by surrendering my life to you. Amen.