As we celebrate Easter Sunday, let’s examine how the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ make possible God’s gift of eternal life. In the words of the apostle Paul, this was certainly an “indescribable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15). The fact that God would give His own Son to die on our behalf is unimaginable. How could we, as sinners, ever deserve such a gift? The fact is: we don’t! Paul reminds us of the severity of the consequences of our sin and the amazing gift we have been given. We must never take this gift for granted.
The beginning of the passage focuses on the temptation to believe that since our sin has been paid in full, we can live how ever we please. But we are not to treat salvation like a “get out of jail free” card in the classic Monopoly game. Salvation does not mean freedom to live any way we please.
Notice Paul’s exclamation: “By no means!” (v. 2). As a believer, we enter into the death of Christ. We declare ourselves dead with Him so we can share in His resurrection (v. 5). As our old self is crucified, we end our allegiance to our sinful nature, eliminating its control over us (v. 7). Through Jesus, we are given freedom not only from the consequences of sin but also from sin itself! We are no longer enslaved to sin’s power.
Paul talks about breaking the habit of being a slave to sin. Instead, we are to refocus our obedience on righteousness. His use of the phrase “the pattern of teaching” emphasizes that we are to follow a new pattern with our lives, forming new habits as a result of Christ’s transformation. This indescribable gift has a transforming effect on those who accept it.
Have you accepted the gift of eternal life? Today’s verse is a beautiful depiction of this indescribable gift of God, “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 23). As you worship this Easter Sunday, take time to thank God for this incredible gift, and if you’ve never accepted Christ as your Savior, there is no better time than today!