Paul is not really talking about a widow whose husband dies. He’s talking about God’s people and their relationship to the Law. Just as she is free to remarry and not bound by her past when her husband dies, so we are freed from the Law when we die to self and are reborn in Christ. In Christ, the Law is dead, and we are given a new husband – Jesus.
In my own strange thinking, I imagine the Law as a military drill sergeant who forces/commands his soldiers to comply. He’s right and he shows us right from wrong, but he is also harsh and unforgiving. On the other hand, Jesus is like the dance partner who shows us the way to live – demonstrating and patiently guiding us through each and every moment. As we learn this dance, we struggle with the steps and our old sin habits get in the way. Wait…..that’s not quite right. They don’t just “get in the way.” Paul says they “wage war” against our right thinking, against our “desire to do what is right.” The good news – the Gospel is that Jesus has already won this battle and sent the Holy Spirit to empower us for these moments.
Friends, I struggle. I sense this war being waged within me. It brings me comfort to know that even Paul had these things within him. And ultimately, I rejoice that I sense this struggle because that means I’m not dead to sin. That means there’s hope within me and that God is at work. I will strive to hang on to Jesus and serve Him in spite of the battle within. According to Romans 5:3-5, this battle produces endurance. Endurance produces character. Character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint. Jesus is our hope and this battle is already behind us. It was fought on the cross. I will hang on to this and seek to live as one who is victorious. I will pray that you will as well.