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Crucified with Christ

By Grace Tom-Lawyer

” I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”. Galatians 2:20 New King James Version (NKJV)

A close look at the first two chapters of the book of Galatians show an immeasurable wealth hidden in Paul’s writing as to the Galatian believers as he tries to show them that justification by faith in the death and resurrection of Christ is enough.After authenticating his apostleship(Galatians 1:12),he makes some profound statements which have been used as memory verses over the years.One of the verses runs with the theme of today and is one of the tenets of our faith; the Crucifixion of Jesus.But what did Paul really mean by this verse and how can we apply it in our lives today?

In reply to the former question ,an older believer told a young believer that to be crucified with Christ means three things: 1.a man on the cross is facing only one direction 2.he is not going back 3. he has no further plans of his own.Using this simple illustration,we can examine what it means to be on that cross with Jesus today.

When Jesus was on the cross about two thousand years , he faced one direction.It is not possible to be on a cross and face more than one direction as the nature of the cross restricts us to one direction only, it brings us to a singularity of purpose and if any man is going to go far with God or do anything significant for God,he must be someone facing one direction.This means that for every decision he makes, the focal point of reference is what God says. As believers today, when we are crucified with Christ, we face only one direction which brings us face to face with Christ without distraction, so that we can be transformed into his own image (2 Corinthians 3 :18).

The second thing about the man on the cross is the fact that he is not going back. He has reached the point of no return. When Jesus was on the cross,it was too late to go back.On the way to the cross(crucifixion), there will be opportunities to turn on back. Three of the writers of the Gospel showed us that even Christ had doubts about the cross but as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane , he reached the point where his spirit and body submitted to God’s will.(Matthew 26:40,Mark 14:36&Luke 22:42).We learn that the battle was won in the place of prayer so he was able to go all the way.

Even the jeerings of men who wanted him to show his power and claimed they would believe if he came down from the cross at that moment did not bring Jesus down from the cross(Matthew 24:42). When I watched Jesus of Nazareth part 4 as a child, I wondered why Jesus did not simply come down so that these people could believe.But thank God for wisdom now as I realize two things 1.Jesus had the power to do so but he did not use his power to defeat God’s purpose , his strength was controlled(meekness exemplified ) 2.Jesus did not need to prove anything to them. The man on the cross does not need to prove anything and is content to stand the risk of being misunderstood,like Jesus he knows there is a higher purpose which will bring greater glory(Romans 8:28).Jesus’s vision of saving the world was too big for him to be disturbed with the pettiness of now and so he remained on the cross.The man on the cross has total commitment.

The third thing about the man on the cross is that he has no further plans of his own. No matter what Jesus planned to do,he could not do it as long as he remained on the cross.He even had to commit the care of his mother to another disciple (John 19:26-28). However it is important to note that Jesus said that he had finished the work that he had been sent to do on the cross(John 19:30).This is because on the cross, it is no longer about us. No wonder Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 “…..that we judge that if one died for all, then all who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised”.The person on the cross has no further plans of his own and is fully yielded to death.It is a life of total surrender.

Being crucified with Christ amongst several things will involve the three things highlighted above.But it is not something we can do by our own power ,hence Paul says further “… the life that I live now i live by faith in the son of God who …” This faith comes through grace (Ephesians 2:8) which we must not take for granted (Galatians 2 21).

The extent of our crucifixion with Christ will be in direct proportion of the grace of God we make use of .According to John Gregory Mantle, “there is a great difference between realizing on the cross that He was crucified for me and “On that cross , I am crucified with him”.The one aspect brings us deliverance from sin’s condemnation , the other from sin’s power “.

Grace Tom-Lawyer is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom and loves to share a message that brings dignity to the lives of people with a passion for the practical application of Biblical truths in everyday living.

2014 Grace Tom-Lawyer. All rights reserved.


Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITER

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