“For you died” (Col. 3:3). What blessed rest there is for a dead man. Nothing is required of him. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘They will rest from their labors, for their deeds will follow them.’” (Rev. 14:13). At a man’s funeral, his employer will not slide up to the casket and say, “Bill, I’ll still need those reports on Monday.” Neither will his wife, clutching a tissue to her nose, tearfully ask if he remembered to take out the garbage. In the same way, God won’t come to a dead man and say, “You shall…” or “You shall not….” The dead man is no more able to honor his father and mother than he is able to commit murder or adultery. He has no capacity for good or evil. Instead, our labors belong to Christ. If something divine is accomplished through us, Christ is the source. If we sin or fall short, that too is Christ’s: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).
–Excerpted from my booklet, “Reflections on Colossians 3“