“I am crucified with Christ and no longer live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
I recently was asked to share on being “crucified with Christ, and Christ living in us” (Galatians 2:20). It led me to the gruesome passage, of Matthew 27:27-44 , which tells of the mocking and suffering Jesus allowed himself to endure on our part.
The Cross brings up so many images in our minds. To many in faith around the world today it means hope, help, healing. Many of us have become so accustomed to seeing the cross in the front of a church, on a steeple, or around someone’s neck that we have become desensitized or indifferent to the cross.
Paul says “I am crucified with Christ.” Crucified, it doesn’t sound quite as nice as our clean cut cross jewelry or decorations in our church. To be crucified, was to be humiliated in such a way as to be made less of a person. Reading the description of Matthew reminds us that in going to the cross all dignity was stripped away, and the only identity you were left with came from the charges often put above your head. Thief. Criminal. Conspirator. King of the Jews? That seems just a bit out of place doesn’t it. Yet, these are the charges and words placed above the head of Jesus, as he suffered in agony on the cross.
He suffered not because men decided he should suffer, but because the Father in heaven had a greater plan to save the whole world, and that plan required his willing sacrifice in our place. Jesus died for the crimes of all humanity your crimes and mine. He was stripped of his holiness and glory, so that he might take on your sins and mine. I want you to think for just a moment about what the charges that Jesus bore for you and I. The Identity that he took that belongs to us. Liar. Adulterer. Thief. Hater. Prejudice. Abuser. User. Fighter. The list could go on and on, for these and every other crime of humanity Jesus went to the cross, so that we might be forgiven, washed clean, and restored to relationship with God.
In this season of contemplation we might do well to examine just what we are doing with the saving and forgiving power of the cross. Are we living like Jesus? Are we sharing his mercy,grace, and love with such passion? Are we allowing the cross to transform us and make us new?
Blessing on your journey with Jesus today.