Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4).
How one responds to this passage depends in large part upon one’s perception of his or her life. For one who is generally pleased with his life, the idea of death will be received one way. For one who is fed up with her life, death may sound quite different.
Paul speaks of the Gospel here in a way that is incredibly hopeful to the weary and heavy laden. In Christ, we have died. Our old self, our former self, has been buried with Christ in baptism. But it doesn’t end there. United with Christ in death, we are likewise united with Christ in resurrection, that our lives might be new. Not better. Not even forgiven. But new.
There are many in our world who would love nothing better than to take their life and bury it. Suicide is an ugly testimony to this impulse. Alcoholism and drug use can be as well. The Gospel, however, suggests that our old lives can be buried, while yet we live. What might it look like to walk in newness of life?
In thinking through how to teach and preach concerning abortion, we do well to make much of baptism, of our unity with Christ. Christ has died. Christ has risen. And so are we. In Christ we are made new.