"Oh, fear is a liar with a smooth and velvet tongue
Fear is a tyrant, he’s always telling me to run
Oh, love is a resurrection and love is a trumpet sound
Love is my weapon, I’m gonna take my giants down. There ain’t no grave
Gonna hold my body down.”
By now this song has probably been heard by you and sung in most every Christian church . It’s real, raw, and has a certain tempo that builds within and by the time the last chorus hits, you’re belting the lyrics, standing firm in your belief of Jesus’ conquering of the grave.
For the last week, this song has been on repeat in my mind. When I wake up, while I do some housework, mindlessly working on my plants, and before I fall asleep, the same lyric over and over: “If you walked out of the grave, I’m walking too.”
Yesterday while showering (and singing) I felt it hit again. This question of “what is your grave?”. I pondered the thought for a while and tried to really think what could be a grave for me. Not a physical, six-feet-under kind of grave, but a place of death that holds me down.
I know I’ve got some figurative graves in my life that I have left (or I’m in the process of leaving) that I felt the Spirit was really speaking to. In order to get there though, I had to delve into the Scriptures to find references to death, graves, and the rising from them.
1. The wages of sin is death.
This stark reality is one that is quickly met with anxiety and uncertainty. If you were to uphold the 613 Leviticus Laws, I can imagine you too would fall short. Romans 3:23 reminds us, “for we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God“ (emphasis mine).
Yet, our God gave us our first grave evacuation when He sent Jesus to die for our sins. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23, ESV.
This gives us eternal life with Him in Heaven. A life without pain, without fear, without tears.
2. Jesus rescued us from the grave.
“He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.”-Psalms 107:20
Easter celebrations were just a week ago, so the death and resurrection are still fresh within my mind. While the days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion are often celebrated because of His teachings, the miracles performed, and the partaking of The Last Supper, the mood takes an abrupt shift into one of anxious thoughts and fervent prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.
“36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” -Matthew 26:36-39
It is here that Jesus received affirmation from God that His will was for Jesus to be the lamb led to slaughter; He would be the sacrifice for sin to bring all of God’s people to eternity with Him. A price that He willingly paid in order for God’s people (read…us) to have everlasting life.
Because of the sacrifice that He made, we are not destined for just this life and an eternal death. We are sealed for a life after death; a life free of the grave.
3. We are set free from sin and it’s penalties.
That statement probably sounds a lot like a “once saved, always saved” phrase, but let me give you a little more depth.
First, even after our conversion; after we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and we take on the blood to cover our sins, we will continue to fall short. We will still sin. As we’re living in this fallen world, we are destined to get angry, lash out, give in to temptation, and even do those things we know we should not do.
The Apostle Paul said it best in Romans 7:15-20:
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Sounds like a bit of a conundrum, doesn’t it? But, he goes on to give this answer in Romans 7:21-25:
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
We have a deliverer! We have a way out! Jesus Christ our Lord has fought against this sin, this punishment, and given us life.
3. We can leave those graves behind!
As a result of this, we can walk away from those graves of shame, regret, hurt, contempt. We longer have to carry around fear or doubt. We can pick our heads up and look others in the eye, even those that know our sins, and confidently say, “I am washed. I am clean. I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.”
Remind yourself of who you are in Christ today, not who you were in sin. Believe you have new life and walk away from those graves that continue to pull and hold you down.
Remember, “If you (meaning Jesus) walked out of the grave, I’m walking too.”
Keep saying it over and over again my friend.
Walk out of those graves!