“Alive in Christ” is a miracle that has been at work for 2,000 years and continues to be at work today. From the very birth of Jesus, new life has been revealed because of the mere power of His existence. Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms inside the temple court and proclaimed: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2:29–32, NIV). In this salvation is life in Christ; in this light is life in Christ; in this glory is life in Christ.
Paul would write so profoundly to the saints at Colossae: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created [life was given]: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together [all life is in him]. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant” (Col. 1:15–23, NIV). It is through Christ’s death that we are made alive. Through Christ’s death we are made holy, without blemish, presented alive in Christ before the Father. And He, Christ, has the power to accomplish this miracle for He, Christ, is the one through whom all things were created by the invisible God, who made Himself known through Christ Jesus, the Son.
“Alive in Christ” was the message taught at Lazarus’s tomb. “Jesus said to her [Martha], ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:25–26, NIV). Lazarus had been dead four days and his physical body was clearly dead as evidenced by the odor. But Jesus’s words proved more powerful than death itself. Not only was Lazarus no longer dead, but his body came out walking, fully restored (with no odor) at the loud command of Jesus. The one thought dead was now fully alive in Christ! Paul understood this same miracle years later. He, Paul, had so many close encounters with death that he wrote, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20, NKJV). “Alive in Christ” is the heart of every new birth: “I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13, NKJV). In Adam all die, but in Christ all are made alive (see 1 Cor. 15:22).
Peter, James, and John traveled with Jesus to a high mountain in Judea. Before these three, Jesus was transfigured; His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as light. Just as this happened, in the blink of an eye, Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus. These two men, dead for hundreds and even thousands of years, were alive and having conversation with Jesus! The assumed dead prophets of old were alive in Christ. It was initially a terrifying experience for the faithful Peter, James, and John, but what an eternal message was demonstrated for us to comprehend on this mount of transfiguration. Peter would later write, “We ourselves heard this voice [and the voices] that came from heaven when we were with him [Jesus] on the sacred mountain” (2 Peter 1:18, NIV). The vitality of “Alive in Christ” was displayed in power and glory on that day, and days later Jesus would prove forever by His own resurrection that “Alive in Christ” is available for all who serve and follow the Master of Life!