How Much More?


Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a holy and living sacrifice to you. 

Jesus, We belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Romans 5:9–11 (NIV)

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.


I grew up around two kinds of churches. They sort of had Jesus in common but not really. One of the churches was all about the life of Jesus. They were geared around the stories of Jesus and Jesus as a teacher and an ethical example to emulate. Sure—they talked about his death but that was not emphasized. The other kind of church was all about the death of Jesus and repenting from our sins and being saved. In these churches, the life of Jesus was pretty much reduced to three days in Jerusalem around a hill called Calvary. One kind of church focused on his life and the other on his death. Though these churches were seemingly about the same person and ostensibly had the same goals, they had very little in common. In retrospect, they now look to me like the Democrats and the Republicans; at least the progressives and the conservatives. In hindsight, it occurs to me they were both right and yet both wrong. 

It’s what I have long loved about today’s text. It paints the whole picture. 

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

We need the death of Jesus. We need the life of Jesus. I love how my friend, Matt LeRoy, speaks of “The Life and Death and Life of Jesus.” 1 The stories of Jesus are not extraneous to the salvation of Jesus. Nor can the gospel be reduced to a three-day span of time in the history of the world. In my thinking, the gospel is the entire story of Jesus—his eternal preexistence, prophesied expectation, conception, birth, childhood, mysterious signs, baptism, miracles, words, wisdom, suffering, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, rule, return, and glorious eternal reign. Nor can Jesus be reduced or confined to the New Testament. He is the whole story of the whole Bible. Whether by allusion or affirmation, every page points to him. 

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

I love how the sentence asks a question and yet it doesn’t end with a question mark but an exclamation point. It’s another way of saying Jesus is everything. He is the author of the story and its chief actor. We have been reconciled to God through the death of Jesus. How much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life? This is our mission—to answer that question—how much more? It means his life must become the source and substance of our life. As the life of Jesus becomes the depth of our memory it will become the breadth of our imagination. 


Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, as we ponder the question, “how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” We so readily think of salvation as something that happened in our past. Holy Spirit, open the eyes of our hearts to grasp how it is breaking now like news into our present life. Break the life of Jesus out of the compartment we confine him to. Show us the “how much more” his life is saving us. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen. 


How would you say what I am trying to get across in today’s entry? What kind of church have you been most associated with—a “life of Jesus” church or a “death of Jesus” church? Are you seeing how we must have both in equal focus? 


Today we will sing verses 1–3 of “And Can It Be.” It is hymn 569 in our Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise. You are starting to like this hymn, aren’t you? 

For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt

P.S. Don’t forget TOMORROW NIGHT AT 6 PM (CDT)

We are gathering online via Zoom Fellowship for a time of celebrating the day of Ascension of Jesus while telling the story of the most significant move of God in the twenty-first century so far—the Asbury Outpouring. I’ll be bringing some of the leaders from Asbury University and some from our team who were there in the mix. You will be deeply encouraged and blessed to be part of this. No registration is required. It is our treat. ZOOM LINK HERE. please invite others. 


Matt LeRoy is a marvelous pastor and teacher—one of my very favorites. We published this resource a few years back and it is a gem. It is a rich journey through the Gospel of John with a weekly video and accompanying book. He has pioneered the brilliant idea of a Love Lab and that’s the spirit of the whole project. If you are looking for a good small group or class resource I’d highly recommend this one.

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. How much more!

    Both a “life of Jesus” church and a “death of Jesus” church view Jesus merely in the past (but we humans desperately need the living and present Jesus). We need to focus on and surrender the control of both our individual lives and of our lives together (when we gather as the body of Christ) to the actual presence of the risen Jesus and let Him be our present and living Head and Lord. The book of Romans calls this being “led by the Spirit.” (See verse 8:14.) How much more there is to Christianity than just remembering and learning about Jesus in the past!

  2. A quote from Martin Luther sums up the answer you’ve asked, “The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.” In other words the Bible all, of it, is about Jesus in one way or another. Sometime back in one of the Daily Texts, you referred to Sanctification as the second half of the Gospel. I believe that this fact, along with the silence about making reproducing disciples within the kingdom of God are what’s missing in the majority of American institutional Christianity. Therefore we can witness the Great Decline.

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