identifying with christ

“Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?”

The gospel message is about continually identifying with the burial of Jesus. Our old man, the flesh, is buried with the sinless body of Jesus, by faith. This ongoing experience is what sets us up, to now have the new life of Jesus flowing through us.

Let’s take a deeper look into the matter of the burial of Jesus. When a person dies and his or her body is buried, decaying and decomposition begin right away. Whereas, the body of Jesus was buried and His body saw no decay or decomposition.

“Therefore He also says in another Psalm: ‘YOU WILL NOT ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO SEE CORRUPTION.’ “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Act 13:35-39)

Our identification with the burial of the sinless body of Jesus, is what baptism is all about.

This is what Jesus told Nicodemus. Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)

There is the necessity to be born of water to enter the kingdom of God.

Water denotes the word and it also represents our burial with Jesus in baptism. “..buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead: ( Col 2:12)

We do go through the waters of baptism, which has other inferences too, but the matter of identifying with the burial of Jesus is an ongoing part of the gospel message.

“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Romans 6:3-6)

We identify with Jesus in His death and in His burial, and just as Christ was raised from the dead, we too can walk in newness of life. Our experience of the newness of life in Jesus can only become a reality, when the body of sin is done away with, in our oneness with Jesus in His burial.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, Jesus is making it possible for us to come to God and live in a relationship with Him.” I Peter 3:18

Flesh and blood or corruption cannot inherit the kingdom of God. There has to be a transference. In exchange for our old man, we are taking on the new man, in Jesus.

It is when we are buried with Jesus, by faith, that the baton exchange takes place.

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. (1 Cor 15:50)

“..he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.” (Acts 2:31-32)

The disciples were witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus. For them to experience and live out the resurrection of Jesus, they were one with Him in His burial.

O’ LORD, thank you, in the baton exchange, the old man, our sin nature, is buried with you and that the new man has risen and is made alive; we have become the first-fruits of the Spirit. Help us to walk in the newness of life. Amen.