The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are true events in history but they are historical events that transform our lives morally in the here and now.
The Apostle Paul makes that crystal clear in Romans 6. He was replying to some people who were saying that because Christians are saved by faith in the Lord Jesus, and not by their good works, that means they can do what they like with their bodies – they can go on sinning because they are saved from God’s condemnation. By no means, says Paul:
“How can we who have died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6v2-4 – RSV).
We Christian believers, Paul says, are spiritually united with the Lord Jesus Christ who died to deliver us from the condemnation our sins deserve. Our spiritual union with Christ involves our having been immersed – baptised – into his death for our sins. It is this baptism into Christ’s death that has radically altered our once harmonious relationship with sin.
Our formerly easy relationship with sin is truly dead and buried because the Christ who died also rose again to bring us into a new realm of spiritual and moral living. Paul says that just as “Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of (God) the Father” we are now empowered to “walk in newness of life”.
Our union with the Christ who died and rose again thus means that, wherever our bodies are, we are to avoid sinning with them but rather to use them to honour and obey God – at work, at home, in company, in our private moments. That is truly transformative of daily life and the spiritual basis for that practical moral transformation is the fact of our union with our glorious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who died, was buried and rose again bodily.