I have been re-reading Romans and I think it’s so funny that I could have read something 20+ times, but then all of the sudden a passage jumps off the page. I’ve read this verse countless times, heard it quoted even more, but when I read it today, it felt like I finally got it. Romans 6:5 says, “For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His.” You’ve all heard the verse, right? Well today I was reading it in the Passion Translation which says it like this,
“For since we are permanently grafted into Him to experience a death like His, then we are permanently grafted into Him to experience a resurrection like His and the new life that it imparts.”
I think the reason this caught my attention, more than in the past, is because I’m learning so much about roses right now. I have always loved roses—I loved them in my grandma’s garden, I love giving them, I love receiving them and I always, stop to smell them, always. Last year I bought 4 climbing roses for a couple places in our yard, but this year I am finally going to buy my first rose bushes.
I have been dreaming about this day for a long time, and when my daughter sees I’m looking at roses on the computer again, she says, “walk away mom, no more.” I even had her sketch out what my little rose garden will look like in a few years, once it’s all filled in.
I have major rose brain right now.
So what does this have to do with Romans 6:5?
In the Passion Translation, the author uses the expression “grafted into Him”, which caught my attention because I’ve been thinking so much about roses. You see, with roses, there are two types of roots, “own root” and “grafted root”. When I first heard this I thought it was so strange, why would you not want a rose that grows on its own root?
A quick Google search will give you this explanation of a why some roses are grafted rootstock and not own root.
“When a breeder develops a new rose variety many more new plants can be produced by grafting each bud of the new variety to the roots of an established plant. Grafted roses tend to form more, and larger blooms, and some rootstocks are more able to withstand adverse conditions than roses grown on their own roots.”
Another site says,
“Some feel the understock gives extra vigor to the budded variety grafted on it, resulting in a larger more robust plant.”
What Paul is telling us in Romans is that we are “permanently grafted into [Christ] to experience a resurrection like His and the new life that it imparts.” If you visualize yourself like a rose bush—your life—the part of the plant that is seen from above ground, has now been transferred from it’s old root system, and been permanently attached to Christ.
He is our root source. He is how we are fed. He is how we absorb nutrients. And most importantly, He is stronger, and can produce more of our lives than we were ever capable on our own.
When we tap into Him, our lives will produce more fruit.
We are no longer limited to what we can do on our own, we now have the root system of Heaven to guide us, strengthen us and grow us bigger than we thought possible. Because of this grafting we get to experience His resurrection. Who we once were has passed, and now we get to continue to grow with Him as our life-source and “share in the fullness of His life” (Romans 6:8).
Have you grafted yourself to Him? Is your life a beautiful rose that people will want to “stop and smell”, or will they pass by because you have not yet tapped into the root system available to you, through Christ? You don’t need to continue struggling to grow on your own, He is right there, He is waiting for you to be joined with Him and experience His fullness.