Buried with Christ

The life of Jesus Christ, as revealed on the pages of the Bible, is most significant. In tandem with His life, the death of Jesus Christ is profound to the same measure. The resurrection of Jesus is most unique, and His ascension to the throne of God, all represent aspects of the most important life ever lived.

Nestled in the high drama of His life, death, resurrection, and ascension is a rarely discussed feature at the close of the Passion Week…Jesus was buried in a tomb. When the subject garners attention, it usually has Joseph of Arimathea, or the tomb stone, or the ongoing activities between Friday night and Sunday morning in view.

It is the apostle Paul who presents us with a simple statement that draws our attention to another consideration. This pertains to our union with Christ, through a spiritual baptism. We have been baptized into Christ (Rom 6:3). This resembles our being “in Adam” biologically. Everyone conceived in the womb is being shapen into the image of the first man (Ps 51:5; Rom 5:12–21). All that Adam was, after the fall, is all that each of us is at conception.

The Christian experience is a new birth, and this spiritual (Jn 3:1–8). It is referred to by a number of terms to help describe it. First, we have been transferred from the domain of darkness and into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col 1:13). The realm of sin is no longer where our souls live. We have died with Christ to the reign of sin (Rom 5:12–21). Sin no longer has dominion over you, Christian.

Second, being baptized into Christ means we have been baptized into His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement. We have been immersed into Christ’s existence and experience. What is true of Him has become true for the sinner made to be a saint.

Third, it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Mt 3:11; Acts 2:38; 10:45). Far from being a second blessing, it is the first blessing of God, evidenced by one’s conversion (repentance/faith). The Spirit is sent to an elect soul, and after entering, the Spirit’s first work is to regenerate the redeemed soul (Jn 3:1–8). The Spirit causes the person to be born again (1 Pet 1:3). The life of God is now living in the soul of the elect, redeemed man or woman (Rom 8:9, 11).

Union with Christ is a mutual indwelling (1 Cor 1:30; Gal 2:20; Eph 2:6; 1 Jn 4:13). Christ lives in me (Spirit baptism/indwelling/regeneration), and I live in Christ (transfer/new life/ new citizenship/adoption/ambassadors/grafted in/ buried seed).

Having died to sin is the result of having been joined in union with Christ (Rom 6). Sin reigned in death, and only death stops sin. Sin’s finished work is death (Rom 6:23); and after death, sin no longer has an interest in the one who has died. Christian, you have died! You have died with Christ. You have been buried with Christ. You have been raised with Christ. You are seated with Christ (Eph 2:6). Your place is with Him. Your lot is forever tied to Him (Heb 13:5). Whatever happens to Him happens to you. His life is your life (Jn 14:6; 1 Jn 5:12). His future is your future. You belong to Him (1 Cor 3:23), and He cares for you (1 Pet 5:7).

Burial is proof positive that a body is dead. To be buried with Christ is proof positive our souls are no longer alive to sin. The life of a seed is nothing unless it is buried in the ground. This is its death, and with God’s increase will bring forth 30, 60, or 100-fold in the harvest of new life (Mt 13:8). The death of the one seed brings forth many. Christ died a ransom for many (Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45). Christ died, so His sheep might live (Jn 10:11, 15).

If Christ died and was buried, and that is the end of the story, then there is no new life for others. Sin and death still have dominion over all humanity. Our faith is in vain (1 Cor 15:14). Christ is risen from the dead, however, and this is true for the soul made alive in Him (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13).

Christian, you are a new creation (Gal 6:15). As a new creature, in Christ, you have newness of life (Rom 6:4; 2 Cor 5:17). You have put on Christ. You have put on a new self (Eph 4:24). You have a new life to live, by faith (Gal 2:20). It is His life that is new in you (Col 1:27).

The power of death is profound. No one, until Christ, could stop death from exercising its dominion over everyone. Death reigned, until Christ came and defeated sin and death at the cross. This is the power of God over death. Death is dethroned where there is resurrection. Christ died, was buried, and rose again (1 Cor 15:3–4). Death loses it sting because it is not the end of the story (1 Cor 15:54–55). There is more to life than a death ending.

Jesus’ resurrection life reigns in glory (Heb 12:2). This is the power of God unto salvation, given to the elect, redeemed, who believe because this power that raised Jesus from the dead, is the same power that resurrected our souls from death (Rom 8:11).

Jesus is alive, body and soul, and He has made us alive in the Spirit (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13) The Christian’s body remains on the course of death (2 Cor 4:16). It must die and be buried in the ground. On the last day, when Christ returns in glory, our bodies and souls will be reunited in the resurrection to life (Jn 5:28–29; 1 Cor 15), and we will be glorified by His wonder-working power (Rom 8:30).

Finally, on the Day of the Lord and His resurrecting us to life, we will be caught up, body and soul, to meet Him in the air (1 Thess 4:16–17). We will always be with the Lord Jesus Christ because when we died to self, the old man passed away. Being no longer dead to God, dead in sin, a new life came into being, from the fact that we died and we were buried with Christ.

David Norczyk

Sandpoint, Idaho

July 26, 2022

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher