And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Ephesians 2:1
The story of Lazarus: his raising from the dead by Jesus is one of the more remarkable stories of the bible. He had been dead and buried four days, and his corpse had begun to decay so much so that when Jesus asked them to move the stone away from the tomb, his sister Martha (who always cared too much about the details) tried to discourage Him saying “by now, he will be stinking”. Jesus of course went ahead to pray over, and raise him from the dead.
The most remarkable story of stories in the Bible however is not that Jesus calls men out from their tombs, but that himself slept in a tomb and rose again, and so doing, conquered death once and for all, for all men.
As he rose that glorious morning, life swallowed up death, and he quickened (made alive) all those who were dead in trespasses and sins. The daily working out of this ‘making alive’… this escape from the death-grip of sins and trespasses is what Paul cries out about when he said, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection”.
This ought to be the heartfelt cry of every believer: that we no longer be slaves to sin “For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:10-11.
The greatest victory that the devil wins today is that he has convinced many that they need not cry for this resurrection power that grants victory over sin. Alas, if we remain dead in trespasses and sins, what use then is it to us that he rose from the dead? What basis remains to ask death, “where is thy sting?”
You see, as the Bible says, “the sting of death is sin” (1 Corinthians 15:56). And so, to defeat death, Jesus had to defang it, and neutralize its sting. As such, the real evidence of his victory in our lives is that we have overcome sin.
O Lord, that I might know you, and the power of your resurrection.