But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Rom 8:11
Before the first rays of light broke over the horizon of a chilly Jerusalem morning, the great stone placed in front of the tomb where Jesus had been buried began to shift. Was it a trick of the light in these pre-dawn minutes? No, invisible Angelic hands were moving it away from the entrance.
Inside, the miracle of resurrection had already occurred. Death had been unable to hold the Son of God. The Holy Spirit, once responsible for the miraculous implantation of the incarnate God into Mary’s womb, had breathed upon broken flesh, the useless organs, the collapsed arteries and the congealed blood within them and had raised Jesus from the grave. A new creation, once God made flesh, now God and flesh united in an eternal union.
Years later the Apostle Paul wrote, “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 15:54-56 Death had reigned since the tragedy in the Garden of Eden. Now the “sting” of death was extinguished. Jesus had conquered death and the grave – not only for Himself but for all who believe in His Name! Don't you love Paul’s language, “death has been swallowed up in victory”. So descriptive, so powerful.
The grave cannot hold me. How can I be sure? I can be sure because it could not hold Jesus. I have been grafted into His Body. Through the confession of my faith in Him and as illustrated in the experience of Baptism, I have died with Christ and have been raised with Him to new life. Though my body will not survive the passage of the years to come, I will. I will be changed exactly as He has been changed; I will rise from death as He did. He is my guarantee, my assurance. “Or aren’t you aware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 We therefore were 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 walk in newness of life.5 For if we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection. Rom 6:3-5
That is it! I will be raised, just as He was raised. The Holy Spirit will perform the same miracle for me that He did for Jesus. Now, O death – where is your sting?
There is, however, another dimension to all of this. Paul writes, And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Rom 8:11 Paul is telling us that, that same miraculous power that infiltrated and renovated the dead body of Jesus in the tomb, is available to us now! What an amazing revelation. The Holy Spirit has not just come to live in us and fill us with Himself. He has also come to renovate us.
He is the one who raised Jesus through His power. He is the one who reformed that collapsed and lifeless body. This same Spirit has come to live in us, and Paul says that He will “give life” to our physical bodies. I like the translation that says “He will quicken our mortal bodies”, it speaks to me of action, improvement, change, resurrection.
There are two things implied in this Scripture:
1. Firstly, the power of the Spirit has come to minister resurrection life and power to us now, in this life, during these days. The Holy Spirit has come to dwell in us and His intention is to affect who we are and what we do as we daily live out our lives. He has brought the full measure of that resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead and wants to release it in us. Wherever death has worked in us, mentally, emotionally, physically, the Holy Spirit wants to breathe resurrection into us and make that which was dead, inoperative or ineffective, alive again. Have you been damaged by the actions of others? You need the release of this resurrection power. Have you lost hope because of past failures? You need the release of this resurrection power. Is your body broken because of sickness and disease? You need the release of this resurrection power. Wherever death has brought its destruction the Holy Spirit wants to bring resurrection and new life. What a promise!
2. Secondly, the Greek word zōopoiēsei translated as “quickens” or “gives life to” implies that the power of resurrection has been implanted into us like a seed. The Spirit has activated the resurrection process in me already. The power of resurrection will break forth just as it does in seed when it dies, life erupts. The seed awaits death. Death is the trigger. The power is within the seed, it is ready, everything is prepared, it just awaits the trigger. So am I. I am ready, the seed of resurrection life and power is already contained within me awaiting the trigger. Now, O death ……. Where is your sting.
Resurrection Day is a celebration of the defeat of death. Jesus has conquered death – in all its forms. The Holy Spirit came on that morning in Jerusalem to begin the process of resurrection with Jesus. Now, He is working to release that same power in us. It is not just a future promise, it is a present reality. Rise up, man or woman of God, the power you need ….. is already within you!