Sunday, April 8, 2012

His Death, Our Death

"I have been crucified with Christ"
-Galatians 2:20
"Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin"
-Romans 6:11
"If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world"
-Colossians 2:20
"And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires"
-Galatians 5:24
"But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world"
-Galatians 6:14
"Now if we have died with Christ"
-Romans 6:8

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As the above Scriptures explain, when Christ died on the cross, His believers and followers also died. Paul leaves no room for uncertainty here, making it very clear that we are joined to Him in His death. What does this mean that we have died with Christ?

It means that our legal case with God is closed. Justice has been fulfilled. God's righteous anger and condemnation has been directed toward Jesus, who voluntarily accepted our place as defendant and took the penalty of death on our behalf. Now there is no more case and no more trial. All of our sins and misdeeds have been accounted for perfectly by the perfect Judge, and not a shred of injustice has been found.

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Practically, it also means that there is nothing we can do except receive. We cannot argue our case any more. We cannot provide evidence of our character for the witness stand. We cannot work to pay off the insurmountable debt of sin. Our arguments are sinful in God's holy courtroom; they are flawed and selfish. Our character is disreputable, unable to stand on its own as having any integrity because of the hypocrisy of our sinful nature. All of our deeds are self-centered, motivated out of our desire to avoid our own consequences. For God to accept these would be contempt and make a mockery of His holiness. Christ has done it all. Paul so beautifully stated this in Romans 11:33-36:

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
"For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

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