Raised Up With Christ
Oh, the deep meaning of the resurrection of Christ! What did Christ do when He died? He went down into the darkness and absolute helplessness of death. He gave up a life that was without sin, a life that was God-given, a life that was beautiful and precious. In essence Christ said something like, "I will give it into the hands of My Father if He asks it," and He did. Jesus was in the grave waiting on God to do His will, and because He honored God to the uttermost in His helplessness, God lifted Him up to the very uttermost of glory and power. Christ lost nothing by giving up His life in death to the Father. So God will do to every one of us who willingly consents to part with his life. "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection" (Rom. 6:5).
And so, if we want the glory and the life of God to come upon us, it is in the grave of utter helplessness that that life of glory will be born. Jesus was raised from the dead, and that resurrection power, by the grace of God, can and will work in us. Let no one expect to live a right life until he lives a full resurrection life in the power of Jesus. Jesus was born twice. The first time He was born in Bethlehem. That was a birth into a life of weakness. But the second time, He was born from the grave; He is the "firstborn from the dead" (Col. 1:18). Because He gave up the life that He had by His first birth, God gave Him the life of the second birth, in the glory of heaven and the throne of God.
Christian, that is what we need to do. A man may be an earnest Christian, a successful worker, a Christian that has had a measure of growth and advance, but if he has not entered this fullness of blessing, then he needs to come to a second and deeper experience of Godís saving power. As God brought him out of Egypt and through the Red Sea, he needs to come to a point where God brings him through Jordan into Canaan.
We have been baptized into the death of Christ. It is as we say: "I have had a very blessed life, and I have had many blessed experiences, and God has done many things for me, but I am conscious there is something wrong still. I am conscious that this life of rest and victory is not really mine." Before Christ got His life of rest and victory on the throne, He had to die and give up all. If you do it, too, you shall share with Him His victory and glory. It is as we follow Jesus in His death that His resurrection, power and joy will be ours.
Because Christ humbled Himself, therefore God highly exalted Him. Wherein comes the beauty and the blessedness of that exaltation of Jesus? For Himself there was perfect fellowship with the Father; for others, participation in the power of Godís omnipotence. That was the fruit of His death.
Scripture promises not only that God will, in the resurrection life, give us joy and peace that passes all understanding, victory over sin, and rest in God, but He will fill us with the Holy Ghost. Jesus was lifted to the throne of heaven, that He might there receive from the Father the Spirit in His new, divine manifestation, to be poured out in His fullness.
As we come to the resurrection life, the life in the faith of Him who is one with us and sits upon the throne Ė we too may be partakers of the fellowship with Christ Jesus as He ever dwells in Godís presence, and the Holy Spirit will fill us, to work in us and out of us in a way that we have never yet known.
Jesus got this divine life by depending absolutely upon the Father all His life long, depending upon Him even down into death. Jesus got that life in the full glory of the Spirit to be poured out, by giving Himself up in obedience and surrender to God alone, and, even in the grave, leaving God to work out His mighty power. And that very Christ will live out His life in you and me. Ought we not to humble ourselves before God?
Until the Church of Christ comes to lay itself in the very dust before God, and to wait upon God to do something new, and something wonderful, something supernatural, in lifting it up, it will remain feeble in all its efforts to overcome the world. Within the Church there is lukewarmness, worldliness, disobedience and other sin. How can we fight this battle or meet these difficulties? The answer is: Christ, the risen One, the crowned One, the almighty One must come and live in the individual members. But we cannot expect this except as we die with Him. Might God teach us to wait on Him that He might work in us all He wrought in His Son, till Christ Jesus may live out His life in us!
Condensed and arranged from The Masterís Indwelling by Andrew Murray.