Paul states very clearly that the believers in Jesus are raised up together with Christ, but he makes this statement in the context of the cross. It is there that he also states that we have been buried with him and that the body of sin has it been put to death. This is found in Romans chapter 6.
If you are fully dead then you will fully live. However, if you hold back, if you refuse to die, if you resist death in certain areas of your life, then in those areas you will surely die.
If we don’t understand what it is to be fully dead, we will not taste of being raised to life. Matthew recorded the words of Jesus in chapter 10, where Jesus was talking about the cross before it happened. This is interesting, because it was a prophetic announcement that the disciples at that time would not have understood.
Matthew 10:38 – “…and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
In these articles we are seeking to define what it is that we are to put to death when we embrace the cross and burial with Jesus. We’ve given you the first death in a former writing, now today we discuss the second death. The second death is to submit your will to the leading of the Lord.
To take up your cross is to submit your will to the leading of the Lord. Upon close examination, the test in the garden of Eden is a test of obedience. If we understand this test from Genesis in the context of submission, it will help us understand what was happening here and understand why this transgression was such a big deal.
Genesis 2:15-17 – The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
The first Adam was ordained to follow the leading of Father. He and she, both, were meant to obey. They were meant to trust Father and follow Him fully out of trust. This was primary to them. They were meant to be consumed with doing the will of their Father, their creator.
Unfortunately, they failed this test. They were righteous until tested, but when tested, they failed. Truly their righteousness had to be tested for it to be sure and when tested, they made the choice to disobey. This disobedience was what Jesus came to reverse.
Jesus faced the same temptation as Adam did in a garden, much like Adam faced it. As Adam faced this temptation in a garden, so also Jesus the last Adam. The first Adam said, “Not thy will, but mine be done,” but the last Adam had a different confession. His confession was, “Not my will, but thine be done.”
Mark 14:32-38 – They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.” And He *took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. And He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.” And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” And He *came and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
We see, in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus submitting His will to Father. He could have held on to his life. He could have looked at the hardship of the cross and said, “No, thank you.” He could have looked at the goodness of living as He was. The fame, the following, the enjoyments of the present realm and said, “No, thank you.” But He made His priority to follow and complete the will of His Father.
What are we learning through this parallel between the first Adam and the Last Adam? We see here that the death to be raised to life is a death to your stubborn will, your rebellious will, and your distrusting will. The new life, the raised-up life, is a life submitted to Jesus, your lover, your husband. The new life is trusting Him. Not trusting a set of rules, but trusting the voice and inner witness of your Lord, your lover, your coach.
In naming Jesus the Lord of your life, you have given up leading yourself. Not because He is bossy, but because you were meant to be divinely connected to the Wisdom of your Father from the beginning. You are meant to be one with the divine one. You are meant to live in a trust relationship with Father. The grace of Father lives in you and makes you a supernatural overcoming one.
If you won’t yield, if you won’t seek, if you won’t listen, you won’t die. And if you won’t die, you won’t be Raised to Life.
You can’t have one without the other. Death precedes Life.
Obediance requires trust. Trust in Father, regardless of how good something looks. Something you have in your hand, something you have available, something your eye can see. This is where Adam and Eve were drawn in: the fruit looked good to the eye. Satan will pull you away from Father’s will in the same way.
Genesis 3:6 – When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.
Your greatest tests of obedience (following and trusting) will be surrounding what looks good to the eye.
Father has something better in mind for you, but only through giving up what is currently appealing. The best is on the other side of what appears to be good. Letting go of what you think is best. When the Holy Spirit is leading you or the Word is leading you, will you follow Him or follow your own reasoning? Will you choose the good over the best? Will you choose the easy or comfortable?
You’ll notice Jesus appealed to Father in the midst of this struggle. If Jesus struggled through submission to the will of Father, you know you will, too. Don’t fall under condemnation when you feel the tension of submission, when you are wrestling over giving up your will to the will of Father. This is a normal thing. He was pleading with Father, “If possible, let this cup pass from me.” He didn’t want to drink the cup of the cross. He didn’t want to drink the bitter dregs of enduring the wrath of Father, the wrath we deserved (it all fell upon Him, as stated in Isaiah 53.)
The wondrous thing about submission to Father is promotion. God will give us resurrection and will lift us up. This is what it produced with Jesus, and likewise it will with you.
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. NIV
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