Christ’s Resurrection and Our Newness of Life

The following excerpts are from the sermon “Christ’s Resurrection and Our Newness of Life,” which was preached by Charles Spurgeon on March 29th, 1891 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Newington, England. You can read the entire sermon here.

“Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”—Romans 6:4.

The Resurrection of our Lord was Attended with Glory

[…] He was “raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” Christ’s resurrection is linked with the fullness of eternal glory.

In itself it was a great marvel. Our Lord was assuredly dead: the Roman guards at the cross took care that no condemned person escaped the death penalty; in our Lord’s case His heart was pierced with the spear to make sure that no life remained in Him. Joseph begged His body, and by the loving hands of those who were sure that He was dead He was wrapped in spices and fine linen, and laid in the rocky tomb.

There lay our Lord, in the grave, with a stone rolled at the cave’s mouth, and a seal set upon it by those in authority, whose envy made them take double precautions. […] There He lay in the heart of the earth, for a portion of three days and nights. He was really dead, and in the grave He wore all the marks of decease: a napkin was bound about His head, and the linen clothes enwrapped His limbs.

On the morning of the third day it was truly said, “The Lord has risen indeed;” for He actually, literally, and in very fact awoke to life, unbound the napkin and laid it by itself, leisurely folded is grave clothes, and when the angel had rolled away the stone from the mouth of the sepulcher, the First-begotten from the dead came forth in a material body to live among His disciples for forty days.

During the time of His sojourn, His resurrection was established by many infallible proofs: He was seen, and heard, and touched, and handled. One of His disciples put his finger into the print of the nails, and thrust his hand into His side. He possessed a real body, for He ate a piece of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb before them all.

It was Jesus of Nazareth, and none other than he, who met His disciples at Galilee. On this firm basis of fact we build our holy faith; but, certain as it is, it is nonetheless a marvel. All glory be to Him “that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.”

The resurrection of our Lord is glorious in contrast with His humiliation. It has in it sufficient of glory to redeem His passion from the shame which gathered about it.

We read in Matthew 20:18, 19, how He was to be betrayed, condemned to death, delivered to the Gentiles, mocked, scourged, and crucified; but we note that all the gloom of that dread tragedy is removed by the few words with which our Lord ended the story: “And the third day He shall rise again.”

The blaze of resurrection lights up the whole length of the Valley of the Shadow. His death wears no dishonor on its brow, for His rising again hath set a diadem thereon. We celebrate Gethsemane and Calvary, and find no bitterness in all their grief, because death is swallowed up in the victory of resurrection.

The whole earthly life of Jesus with its poverty, its slander, its sorrow, its scourging, its spitting, its crucifixion, is raised above all trace of dishonor by His glorious resurrection.

His resurrection is glorious in its effects. He was “delivered for our offenses,” but “He was raised again for our justification.” In death He discharged our debt: in resurrection He exhibited the receipt of all our liabilities. He was surety for us, and therefore He smarted and went down to the prison of the grave; but by death He discharged His suretyship and was set free.

Our Lord has risen, and therefore we shall rise in the day of His appearing. The Breaker leads the way, and behind the mighty champion the whole company of His redeemed pass through the portals of the tomb in the power of His resurrection. The stone is rolled away for them as well as for Him.

They cannot be holden of the bonds of death, for He could not be detained a captive. What a glory there is in our Lord’s resurrection, when we further remember that He ever liveth to make intercession for us, and, therefore, He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him!

The fullness of salvation comes to us because He has risen from the dead, and is now making intercession for the transgressors. O brethren, the resurrection of Jesus is bright as the sun with glory! Faith in it thrills our hearts.

Well might each line of our hymn end with a “Hallelujah.” When we say one to another, “The Lord is risen indeed,” we feel like singing all the time, for now our faith is not vain, we are not in our sins, and those who have fallen asleep have not perished.

[…] To the child of God, death furnishes a couch of rest, and is no longer a dark and noisome prison cell. Death is the refining pot for this poor flesh and blood: the body is sown in corruption, but it is raised in incorruption and immortality. We shall with these eyes behold our Lord when He shall stand in the latter day upon the earth.

O glorious resurrection, which has turned our poison into medicine! O miracle of love, which has made death to be the gate of life!

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of Victorian England's best-known ministers, was born on June 19, 1834 in Kelvedon, Essex. He remains highly influential among many Christians today, among whom he is known as the "Prince of Preachers."

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