And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, (Ephesians 2:1)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Ever been raised from the dead? The answer, if you’re baptized, is “Yes!” When we are born, we are born dead. Not stillborn, though that happens. We are born spiritually dead. Unable to do ANYTHING toward God. We can’t know Him, love Him, recognize Him, honor Him, glorify Him, obey Him, or anything else. We’re D-E-A-D. What can a dead person do? N-O-T-H-I-N-G!
What does Jesus do to dead people? Well, there was that little girl who died. He took her by the hand and said, “Get up.” There was that young man who was being taken to be buried when Jesus stopped and touched his coffin. There was that Lazarus guy who had been in the grave for four days and was already starting to smell! With a word, Christ raised them from the dead. They were dead. Then He spoke. Then they were alive.
This is what happened to you in Baptism. You were dead. God’s Word was spoken and the water was splashed on. Then you were alive. Alive in Christ. A child of God. Redeemed by the blood shed by Jesus on the cross. Alive in grace. Trespasses and sins forgiven. New life and a new creation. Marked with God’s name. Clothed with Christ. A-L-I-V-E!
Of course, the reason any of this happens is that Jesus Himself was dead. Then He was alive. His death paid for sins. His resurrection throws down death’s power. Christ’s victory over sin and death is your victory over sin and death. By being baptized into Christ, you are baptized into the One who died and rose again Himself. Death couldn’t keep Jesus down and now it can’t keep you down, either, because you are in Christ.
This is important because you are probably surrounded by those who teach that in order to be saved you have to do something: give your heart to Jesus, make a decision for Christ, live a certain way. But the Bible tells you differently: You were dead. Dead people don’t do anything. But Christ raised you from the dead. That’s His work. His accomplishment. His gift. You are alive, not because of you, but because of Him. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
This miracle of life reborn Comes from the Lord of breath; The perfect Man from life was torn; Our life comes through Christ’s death. (This Is the Spirit’s Entry Now, LSB 591:2)