Friday, January 23, 2015

NTDS (52): Crucified

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. NIV

Crucified. Think for a moment if you will, about this word. I am sure you have a picture in your mind. It is hard to stay there for any length of time because of the horror of that picture, yet the apostle Paul used the word often in his teaching, so we must think about it. The word crucify in Greek, is translated literally, “to impale on a cross.”

Why is it that Paul uses this term so often when speaking of our relationship with Christ? According to Strong’s dictionary, there is a figurative meaning as well. It is “to extinguish (subdue) passion or selfishness.” When Jesus died on the cross, it was proof that He had zero thought of self. His only concern was saving us from wrath by taking the penalty of our sin onto Himself (Lk 19:10). Though tempted in every way as a human, He subdued all selfishness.

This is what Paul says about himself as well and is his exhortation to us. Though he uses a different Greek word in Colossians 3:5, it has the same figurative sense, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

The reason Paul uses the term so often is so that we can personally identify with Jesus. We know that our selfish desires can keep us from serving God and others the way we would like to, so it helps to think of our old nature as being “impaled with Him.” Paul puts it this way in 2 Cor 13:4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him to serve you.”

So picture again the cross. Can you, like Paul put your fleshly desires on that cross with Him? Rom 6:10-11 says, “The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

As Paul tells us in our key verse, this can only be done by faith. Faith in the one who gave His life for us. Faith in the one who was crucified, but now lives again in us. Faith in the one who is able to empower us to live the selfless life of service that He lived.

Will you say, along with Paul, “the life I live in this body, this tent that I presently dwell in, I will consider crucified with Jesus and will live by faith in Him, trusting Him to live through me and so glorifying the Father in heaven?”

If that is the sincere desire of your heart, you will begin an amazing journey. As you “seek first His kingdom” (Matt 6:33), you will find all that you need in life provided to you. You will discover that following His course will bring a deep joy that cannot be experienced any other way!

God bless you


No comments:

Post a Comment