I Have Been Crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20, part 1)

Since my message, “The Real Gospel,” I have been thinking about Paul’s words in Galatians 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.

These words are so familiar to me, yet they have a depth of meaning I often overlook. Over the next few days on my blog, I will reflect on these words for our lives. Today, I’m considering the first part of that verse: “I have been crucified with Christ.”

Paul writes elsewhere: “we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:6-7). As Jesus Christ was physically crucified on the Cross, our own sinful nature was crucified.

Jesus’ death on the Cross was a historical event that is not disputed by historians. Still, there is something personally effective for each person that occurred at the Cross in Jesus. “We are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died” (2 Corinthians 5:14b). “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Taking upon Himself not only our sin but also our very selves, Jesus was crucified.

In His crucifixion, we – our old selves, that is – were killed. We suffered death with Him, though in God’s mercy to us only Jesus Himself experienced the literal weight of sin’s bloody death. When we come by faith to Jesus Christ, we choose to spiritually associate with His death and we, too, die. We die to our capacity to make ourselves right by acts of righteousness under the law, and we also die to our tendency to live in rebellion to God through selfish sin. It is a new beginning that begins with a final end to ourselves. “I have been crucified with Christ.”

Jesus, how can it be that one so innocent as You took all the pain and judgment?
How is it that you would suffer so much for me?
Thank You…thank You…beyond all words, thank You!

||40days|| week three: turn from sin

Continuing our journey through Lent to the Cross with Jesus, we move from the focus upon acknowledging our sin last week to turning from sin – denying its power – this week.

It is one thing to face our sins – to name them for what they are – but that is merely one step in our journey toward maturity in Christ. The next step is to renounce – or turn away from – the sin in our lives. Each of us comes to a crossroads in facing sin. Our decision must be to change directions in order to follow Jesus. As Peter proclaimed in one of his earliest message in the book of Acts:

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. (Acts 3:18)

Here is a question for you to consider: what sin in your life can you identify yet have not fully turned away from? What would it look like even now to turn from that sin, to acknowledge it before God and ask Him for freedom and life?

Even now, each of us could pause in whatever we are doing and turn to Him. He is not far off, but closer than we realize.