Tombs and Cocoons
by Mary Alice McGinnis
Have you had those moments in your life when you knew that what you were doing, or going to do, was not the right thing? When doing that thing seemed like a powerful uncontrollable force welling up inside of you?
Kind of like when I get angry. I know that the words or actions that come out of my mouth are NOT going to be kind. In fact, they will likely be hurtful and downright mean. And honestly and sadly at the time, I don’t care. All the justification swirl around in my head, I am sure you know them. I just want to unleash it all and not think twice about it. I could easily think, “God will forgive me anyway.” And truthfully, in those moments, I don’t want to let go of my anger.
Maybe there is something else in your life that you don’t want to let go of? Something that has a stranglehold on you what is keeping you prisoner.
That part of us, that part that is bent on doing what we want, no matter the consequences. That part of us that feels uncontrollable. That part that wants what we want, and nothing or no one can dissuade us. That part of us that we are ashamed of because we know the darkness of what we are capable of lives there. It is a frightening realization that we are enslaved to being that person, with no hope of being freed.
Paul tells us today some beautiful news!
We are dead! What? That doesn’t sound like good news. Let’s try to picture what Paul is describing.
Picture a corpse. It is dead. See its lifelessness. Stare at its inability to get up and freeing itself from the power of death. See it becoming overcome by corruption and decay.
Paul says: “We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?”
That corpse is our old corrupt self. That part of us that innately wants to rebel and go our own way. That part of us is DEAD, like a corpse buried in a crypt. Jesus died too. Yet death did not have mastery over Him. It could not hold Him. He broke the power of sin! He arose triumphant.
Paul continues: “For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His.”
The word united here means being implanted by birth or nature. Our nature from our earthly birth is bent on things that lead us to death and destruction. BUT, when we are UNITED with Jesus, our relationship with our self-seeking, sin-sick nature is forever changed. Jesus’ nature and the power of His resurrection comes alive in us! It transforms everything about us!
If we have been freed like a corpse freed from death, why would we EVER want to go back and live in the tombs?
Just like a butterfly when it emerges from a cocoon, we have been freed!
Why would I ever want to go back to living in a cocoon?
Ask yourself these questions.
Since I have been freed to live my life united – bound together – in the nature of Jesus, how will I count myself dead to sin and ALIVE to God in Christ Jesus?
How will this transform how I live my life today?
Thank You Jesus for conquering death. Thank you for uniting me with YOU in Your death and resurrection. Forgive me for when I want to go back to the tombs and cocoons of my old selfish nature. Continue to transform in my heart through Your Holy Spirit's power. Help me to live as one who has been made alive and set free!