For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:…
The idea is not of two or three plants all put into the same ground, though that would to a certain extent express blessedness — to be near Him is blessed, to have walked the same earth is blessed, to have a similar nature is blessed; but the meaning here is far deeper. The idea is of one plant with various branches (John 15:1). The root is Christ; we, the branches, are grafted in by believing. The plant out of the dry ground had no form nor comeliness; He came down and emptied Himself of His glory, and went down into death that we might be planted in the same ground and in the same grave. You see the same thing in your gardens; the plant put down into the ground, no appearance of life, no buds, no fruit there: yet if it were not put into the ground there would never be buds or fruit. So, "except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." Here we have the planting of the Tree of Life, which, springing up in the Resurrection, "bears twelve manner of fruits, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations." We are planted in union with Him, in the likeness of His death; but when the spring comes, and the light, and dawn of God operate upon the plant, we know what the consequences are; it puts forth buds, and leaves, and fruit. And what a beautiful thing it is! The branches of the tree whose root was planted in winter, are the very branches which contain its fragrance and beauty in the summer time. It was winter time with Jesus when He was put down into the ground; but springtime and summer are coming, when the Tree of Life shall put forth its fruit, and we shall be in the likeness of His resurrection; even God Himself shall delight to rest under that shade, and eat His pleasant fruit.
(M. Rainsford, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: