“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
Our common, blessed salvation is dependent upon the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. These twin, essential aspects of our Lord’s redemptive work are distinct though inseparable, like the two sides of a coin. When we think of redemption and salvation, our thoughts often move to the horrific events that preceded and accompanied the Savior’s crucifixion. This is with good reason. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). Unless our Lord had shed His blood for us, our guilt before God would remain. The blood of Christ is indeed the blessed currency with which our redemption was secured (1 Peter 1:18-19). His blood purifies our consciences (Hebrews 9:14) and draws us into a restored relationship with a holy God (Ephesians 2:13). Even so, when we consult the Book of Acts, we see that the earliest evangelists gave equal, if not more, emphasis on Christ’s resurrection. Today’s verse passage reminds us that, technically speaking, it is not the crucifixion of our Lord that saves us, but His resurrection. Earlier in this epistle, the apostle explained that man has two great problems. “For all have sinned,” he wrote, “and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The blood of Christ indeed provided atonement; “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Even so, His shed blood alone, though essential to our salvation, is nonetheless insufficient. It is the resurrected and glorified Jesus Who ascended to heaven, Who, with His Father, sent the Holy Spirit into the world (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7). It is the Spirit Who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). It is He Who regenerates the believer, making him a new creature in Christ (John 3:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5). It is the Holy Spirit Who baptizes us into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13) and, by virtue of our close association with the Savior, guarantees that we will one day be resurrection and glorified, even as our blessed Forerunner (Hebrews 6:20; Romans 8:10-11, 18-23; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 48-54; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 3:2). “Because I live,” said Jesus, “ye shall live also” (John 14:19). We are saved by His life in still another way. Even now as we wait for God’s dear Son from Heaven “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21), the resurrected Savior acts as our Mediator and Advocate, interceding on our behalf (1 John 2:1-2). “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). Our Savior’s changeless, flawless life makes Him the most faithful High Priest imaginable. May He Who has the power of an endless life (Hebrews 7:25) grant us life in all its abundance also (John10:10).