DEVOTION – NEW LIFE
The year is 1753, in America. As long as you can remember, you have had to obey every whim of your master. He determines everything you do. He tells you when to get up and when to go to bed. He determines what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat. He even picks your spouse for you and sells your children at the slave market. You have no rights and no hope of freedom. There is no underground railroad to freedom, no Abraham Lincoln defending your cause, and no hope of an Emancipation Proclamation.
You are a slave.
But then someone comes along, someone you’ve never met, someone you’ve never done anything for, and says he will help you. He will pay the ransom price to free you from this horrid, hellish slave owner. Having been freed, what then? Would you choose to go back to that slave owner and serve him again? Wouldn’t you instead want to use your newly given freedom to live for the one who set you free?
You and I were born slaves to sin and enemies of God. Sin determined everything we did and every choice we made. We could not free ourselves from sin. It owned us. We were bound in those sins and making our slave march to the fires of hell.
But Jesus came to change all that.
He was willing to take our place. He was willing to give His life to purchase our freedom. And He did!
All through Jesus’ life, He was the suffering Servant of
the Lord. This culminated on the cross as He bore the sins of the world. But on Easter, everything changed. Listen to Romans 6:9-10, “Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” Jesus rose victoriously from the dead. All sin had been paid for. The work of bearing sin was out of the picture, done, taken away, crucified, dead, and buried on Good Friday—once for all. The risen Lord lives only to God, as His glorified Son.
In your baptism, God connected you to Christ. “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.” (Romans 6:4) Jesus’ death freed you from your sins. His resurrection to life gives you new life. By connecting us with Christ, God has worked new desires in us. No longer do we want to live to slavishly serve our flesh, but we want to live for Him who saved us. We are free to serve and worship our God every day and in every way. This is an accomplished fact in your risen Lord. This is the new life He has given you!
We thank Thee, Christ; new life is ours,
New light, new hope, new strength, new powers:
May grace our every way attend
Until we reach our journey’s end! Amen.
Nathan Pfeiffer is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Spokane, Washington.