And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Jesus, having forgiven you all trespasses … (Colossians 2:13).
When my son was much younger, he’s now 13, he went everywhere with me. As a pastor, it meant that we made hospital visitations together, and he sat quietly in the back of the room when I performed a funeral or wedding.
When we’d pass by a cemetery I’d say to him, “Look! That’s where the dead people live.”
One day we were driving to the cemetery in the tiny berg of Timber, Oregon, where I was conducting a burial. At the cemetery was a freshly dug grave Daniel pointed toward and in his excited little boy voice yelled, “Daddy! One got out!”
Imagine with me, walking into the cemetery that day and exclaiming, “Okay all you dead folks, how many of you want to believe in Jesus? Raise your hands and say this prayer” or “If you only believe you can be saved.” How many takers do you supposed I’d have?
But! Suppose some of the corpses were brought to life – born again from the dead – and then we proclaimed, “Everyone who is alive, come and bow your knee in worship to the Christ who gave you life!” Would there be a difference in response from the first effort?
Now Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go” (John 11:43-44).
Dead men can’t do anything. New life necessarily precedes the ability to believe, act, or take hold of anything or Anyone.