The new you… crucified with Christ
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Paul – Galatians 2:20 NLT)
Before we move on from this verse, it strikes me that we do not often consider the very height and depth of the first part of the apostle’s words. What does the apostle mean when he declares that his “old self has been crucified with Christ?”
First of all, how is this even possible? Even in the case of the apostle, Jesus was crucified years before he even met the Lord on that famous road to Damascus. And for us? That was almost 2000 years ago. How could the apostle claim that he has been crucified with Christ? How can we??
The answer is all important – and reveals something essential for this whole “changing your thinking” thing. When we consider the apostle’s words, something should become obvious… we cannot possibly live a new life until the old life dies. We cannot beome new creations while the old creation is still alive and well. So, before the new can come – the old has to die.
The problem with this, is that dying is pretty permanent. It is a little difficult to recover from… dead. But the only way we are ever going to be done with sinning, is to die (dead men do not sin!).
God’s plan was ingenious. He sent Jesus to die in our place. We get that. But did you know that He sent Jesus to be the way that we can also die? Or to put it in other words, Jesus made it possible for every one of us to share in what He has done for us. When Jesus died on that cross, when He was buried in that tomb, and when He was resurrected from death… He opened the doorway for all of us to share in every one of those things.
That’s exactly what Romans 6 teaches us. “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:3-4)
What the apostle is saying is this: The very moment we believe in Jesus, we are (spiritually) transported back in to time, are united with Jesus, and we share in everything He went through. His death, His burial, His resurrection – all become our death, burial and resurrection. Raised to live a new life – the new you was “born.”
“For 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)
God’s plan, through His Son, was to provide a way for all of us to die, and be put to rest – so that we might be resurrected to a new life. That new life is… the new you!
God’s provision, making it possible for each of us to be crucified with Christ, makes it possible for each of us to fulfill the rest of the apostle’s words… “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” And if we really think about it… how different would our lives be when we actually accept that Jesus is the One living through us?!
The hard part, for each of us, is to quit visiting the graveyard and digging up the old you!
The apostle’s declaration, in Galatians 2:20, should be our declaration as well. For each of us, who have embraced Jesus and His work, have actually been crucified with Christ!
Prayer focus: God, help me to truly understand that I have died with Jesus – so that I might live a new life with Him living in, and through, me!