Monday, November 5, 2012

Crucified with Christ





Scripture

“For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.
(Galatians 2:19 NASB)
“I have been crucified with Christ; and 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 up for me.
(Galatians 2:20 NASB)
“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
(Galatians 2:21 NASB)

 

Observation


The Apostle Paul comes to this moment where he makes a very powerful declaration of his relationship with Christ. Paul had been an avid follower of the Jewish laws and he understood all of the ramifications therein. He also understood the "lostness" of humanity and the desperate need for salvation. Jesus came and on the cross he fulfilled, once and for all, all the requirements of the Law. This was not something that we could have done on our own. We could not be saved by our own righteous works, but only by the shedding of Christ's blood in his crucifixion. However, for us to become partakers of that which he had prepared for us, we too have to allow ourselves to participate in the crucifixion. Christ gave up all of his own rights so that he could save all of us. We too must give up our own selfish rights and join him in crucifying all to the cross. The joyful moment then comes in knowing that the price has been paid, but now the relationship which God intended for all of humanity has been rectified. I turn my face toward him, the one whom I seek on a daily basis and he fills me up with his holy presence. Gregory of Nyssa once said that "seeing is the same as possessing." That is why my reflection is now of the one who died for me on the cross and gave up all things for me and I can say together with Paul, "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me!"

 

Application

Once we are crucified with Christ the goal is to Christlikeness. Paul understood this and kept his eyes on the goal until the very end of his life. Phineas Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene used to say, "Nothing to the left, nothing to the right, straight ahead, Jesus only!" At the end of the day, that's what I want. I want to be able to push aside all the things of this world and keep my eyes completely and totally focused on Jesus Christ. I want to know Christ! I want Christ to live in me.

 

Prayer


Lord, please help me on a daily basis to keep my focus on Jesus and him only! May the obstacles of this world which come across my path be immediately crucified so that Christ may constantly dwell in me. Amen.

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