Being both a father and school teacher with the privilege of taking countless numbers of children on many trips, I have heard my share of “Are-we-there-yets?”!
Let’s not be too hard on our youth, however. We too can get very impatient in our lives. How are you about waiting in line at a store, at a red light, or for a train to pass? And are we always satisfied with the way things turn out in our lives? How do we behave when things don’t end up our way–not only in day-to-day issues but in the bigger picture of what we want out of life? Do we question and even complain about the way things turn out? Are we always patient with each other–forgiving one another just as Christ has forgiven us?
In this hustle and bustle, rushing about, rarely-satisfied world, don’t we often yearn for release? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Lord would simply take us away already?
In other words, we ourselves might ask, “Are we there yet?”
Our loving heavenly Father gives us comfort from the Scriptures through the pen of the Apostle Paul. In Romans chapter 6 the Holy Spirit gives us our Easter and everyday comfort. He informs us that we have already arrived at a very important destination. “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:3-4).
Did you catch not only the destination but the journey as well? As Christians you and I have already passed through death and into eternal life! When we were baptized into Christ–brought to faith by the Holy Spirit–it was as if we had partaken of Christ’s death. After all, it was our sins which nailed Him to the cross. It was our transgressions and guilt that were washed away in His righteous blood. We were laid in His tomb and, when He arose to die no more, it sealed us to Him forever!
This, dear fellow Christians, is why the Lord told Martha and can tell us, “whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:26). Death (which is now only a sleep) may come to our bodies, but never to us!
If we have already been delivered from the law and have died to the sin of this world, (see Romans 6:6), what crisis can concern a corpse? What burden—whether financial, physical, spiritual, psychological, or otherwise—can bother a dead body? The Lord is telling us that nothing in this life can defeat us. Nothing—not even death itself!—can separate us from Christ’s eternal love (Romans 8:37-39)!
Please notice that verse 4 of Romans chapter 6 does not say we will (sometime in the future) have new life, but we already have it now–we are already there! And the 13th verse goes on to declare, “…but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your (bodily) members as tools of righteousness to God.” When we Christians live our lives with Jesus’ death and resurrection as our central theme, we realize that we have died to sin and are now able to surrender our lives and resources to the Lord to be used for His glory.
When petty problems (think of it—compared to eternity, they’re all petty) start to get us down, to distract us from our goal, to bring worry and heartache, we need to remember: with death conquered and new life ours, now is the time to rejoice! Right now our risen Christ reigns!
We need not wait to enjoy our heavenly reward–by faith we are already there! “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:30). Hallelujah!
‘Tis through the purchase
of His death
Who hung upon the tree
The Spirit is sent down to breathe
On such dry bones as we.
Raised from the dead,
we live anew;
And justified by grace,
We shall appear in glory, too,
And see our Father’s face.
(TLH # 382:5-6)