Today’s Reading: Romans 6:3-11
Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 13:1-18; Acts 23:12-35
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Through Baptism you are united with Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection. His death counts as your death, and His resurrection is the certainty of your own resurrection.
There’ s no doubt that you deserve to die. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Just one sin, one little white lie, one selfish thought, one slip of the tongue. . . just one of these deserves death, eternal death. If you think this is unjust, it simply proves again the depth of your rebellion against your creator. You’re so sinful you think it’s no big deal! So yes, you deserve to die.
One way or another, you will die. If you die going your own way, you die forever. But there’s another way to die, without dying forever. Paul speaks of it in Romans 6. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” (Romans 6:3). This means that God’ s gift of Baptism has bridged the gap between you and Calvary. Jesus’ death is now your death.
It’s as if you were there with Him as He hung on that Cross, as He gave His last breath. It’s as if you were the one there dying for your sin. On the Cross Jesus was carrying the sins of the whole world. All God’s wrath, all His anger over your sin, was taken out on Jesus, and He died. Your death is no longer required as payment for your sin, all because you are joined to Jesus in Baptism.
But wait, there’ s more. Jesus died, but He didn’t stay dead. Paul goes on to say, “If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” If His death is your death, certainly His resurrection is your resurrection. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). Your death will be “but a slumber” (LSB 938, st.1). No need to fear death. Your death will be like His. Your death will end in resurrection and eternal life. And all because you are baptized! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
In baptism we now put on Christ—Our shame is fully covered With all that He once sacrificed And freely for us suffered. For here the flood of His own blood Now makes us holy, right and good Before our heavenly Father. (“All Christians Who Have Been Baptized” LSB 596, st.4)
-Rev. Jeffrey Ware is pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.