Romans is cloaked with a ton of theological language, especially today. Sin. The law of sin and death. Righteousness. Talk of flesh. Don’t be scared! Paul is on to something good – really good!
At the end, we hear Paul declare “and his Spirit is within you.”
It’s unfortunate Paul is so twisty and wordy, because ultimately his points are central to our understanding of the Christian Journey.
His argument is that WE ARE CHRIST’S BODY, and if so we are his hands and his feet – his heart and his mind. We carry out his will. We do good deeds. The Church IS still Christ – alive and well.
But the flip side is also true. Christ died on a cross, so in very many real ways we have also been put to death. Our will is no longer intact. Our flesh is obsolete. Our old life is past! We are dead (to ourselves).
We are now new creations, with Christ’s spirit in us – guiding us – using us.
Today is Holy Saturday. Christ is in the tomb. And so we wait. And so we remember, those parts of our lives are dead and gone too. The past can no longer hold us tight.
Today is a day to let go. It is a day to purge our flesh – with fasting, with prayer. To embrace all that is within us that corrupts and brings us to death, and know ultimately, secretly, that it does not bind us – that it is already released and washed away, just as our sin is washed away in the life-giving power of God.
That’s the power of Holy Week! That’s the power of Good Friday and Holy Saturday! The darkness does not win. And so with confidence we sit in the darkness, unafraid. For we know who holds our future.