“…In Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 6:23
At the end of Romans 6:23, Paul adds five words that may seem like an unnecessary addition. However, without these five words, there is no gift of eternal life. So the verse ends, “… in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Why are these five words so important? Because eternal life is indeed a gift…but it is not completely free. That is true of every gift that has ever been given. While a gift costs nothing to the receiver, it always costs something to the giver. In the same way, eternal life is free to you and me because Jesus paid for it on the cross. Eternal life is only available in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jesus bought our spiritual life through His own physical death. On the cross, He suffered the spiritual death of being separated from God. That death belonged to sinners, but He suffered in our place. Do you understand how Jesus died? The Roman soldiers did not kill Jesus. They crucified Him, yes, but He gave up His own Spirit. “No one can take My life from Me. I lay it down of my own accord” (John 10:18). Our sin killed Jesus. He took what He didn’t deserve so that we might receive what we don’t deserve. We deserve death, but God desires life.
In light of Christ’s sacrifice, each of us has a choice to make. We can refuse Jesus and die physically, spiritually, and eternally. Or, we can receive Jesus and live spiritually, physically, and eternally.
Dear Lord, help me to remember your generous sacrifice on the cross and help me feel your spiritual presence each day until I get to be in your physical presence when I pass from the earth to heaven. Amen.