Road signs are helpful tools. We see them depicting specific ideas through symbols, shapes, and colors. These things communicate to us bigger pictures, stronger meanings, and critical cautions. This is because signs are meant to guide us and keep us on the right path. They indicate to us what is ahead as well as the situations in the current terrain. They remind us to be watchful and alert, to slow down, to turn, to stop.
In the same way, God has given us a number of big signs to maintain a meaningful meditation on the resurrection of Christ. Each of these big signs point to God’s work on the cross. Without the work on the cross, there is no work in the grave. The resurrection of Christ substantiates the atonement of Christ (1 Cor. 15:17). Here are three of the big signs that we often take for granted.
The Sign of Baptism
“Buried with Christ and raised to walk in newness of life.” If you’ve been baptized or witnessed a baptism, you likely heard those words. They capture the reality of the symbol. Baptism is a symbol of spiritual rebirth. It is meant to stir our affections heavenward. However, most of us forget how it feels to taste the spiritual work of Christ. We’ve grown numb to the power of baptism. We’ve succumb to forgetfulness.
Baptism is God’s gift to our wandering hearts. We are prone to wander, prone to leave the God we love because we are forgetful. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” (Rom. 6:3). Do you feel Paul’s frustration with the Christians’ forgetfulness? “Have you forgotten what Christ did?” Baptism says to us, “Remember!”
Baptism is a powerful reminder because of its meaning. The word means to completely submerge into something else. It was not a religious term at all. In fact, many who read Paul’s words in this text were familiar with how garments were dipped into dye which completely altered their color. Paul is saying to us that God dipped us into Christ and He has completely altered our life. “Have you forgotten that Christ did this?”
Baptism is also a powerful reminder because of its symbol. It says to us: when Christ died, we died; when Christ was buried, we were buried; when Christ resurrected, we were resurrected. We are in Him. We are clothed and colored in Christ. Remember!
The Sign of the Lord’s Supper
A second road sign that points us to the greatest work of Christ is the Lord’s Supper. According to 1 Corinthians 11:23-29, holy communion is repeated because Christ told us to do it in “remembrance of me.” Clearly, it is a tool to remind.
The Lord’s Supper reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice. The bread and the wine are pictures (signs) of the Lord’s body and blood that was laid on the cross for our behalf. Christ was the perfect sacrifice for our sin. He was broken for us. His blood was poured out for us. Both of which we know were effective because Christ rose again.
The Lord’s Supper also reminds us of Christ’s return. “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor. 11:26). As long as the Lord tarries, we will take communion. We do it in expectation that He will return one day.
The Sign of Sunday Morning Worship
Maybe the most forgotten sign of the resurrection is Sunday morning worship. Weekly worship started back in the garden. According to Genesis 2:2, the seventh day of the week was meant for rest. God desired man to take a break from work and be refreshed by the works of God.
The weekly cycle said to early man, “suffer now and rest later.” It continually pointed ahead to a time when the work would be complete. Rest was coming for all who believed God. When Jesus came, so did rest. When Jesus died on the cross, the work was finished (Jn. 19:30). Now, everyone who is in Christ can experience spiritual rest every day (Heb. 4:10). Jesus gives eternal rest (Matt. 11:28).
After Christ’s work on the cross, the weekly day of worship (pointing to a coming rest) was no longer needed. Rather, believers of God began worshipping on the first day because it was the day that Jesus (the eternal rest) rose from the dead (Jn. 20:1). The Bible calls Sunday “the Lord’s Day” (Re. 1:10).
These three big signs say to us as Paul said to Timothy, “Remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead” (2 Tim. 2:8). There is power in remembering God’s greatest work. It’s time that we should seize that power.