Hmm. Woke up this morning thinking about the phrase, “I have been crucified with Christ.” No, I didn’t at some point crawl up there on that rough wood and have my extremities spiked to it, bleed out and die.
It would have meant nothing beyond the death of just one more man.
The difference is in Who died on the Cross. That was God in flesh, Jesus the Christ. It’s because of His ultimate, Once-In-An-Eternity sacrifice that all the ones we’re going to be celebrating over the next few days have any real meaning.
My son, daughter and I sing this song. Check out the lyrics. . .
I AM CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST – Phillips, Craig & Dean
“When I look back on what I thought was living / I’m amazed at the price I chose to pay / And to think I ignored what really mattered / ‘Cause I thought the sacrifice would be too great.
“But when I finally reached the point of giving in / I found the cross was calling even then / And even though it took dying to survive / I’ve never felt so alive—
“As I hear the Savior call for daily dying / I will bow beneath the weight of Calvary / Let my hands surrender to His piercing purpose / That holds me to the cross, yet sets me free—
“I will glory in the power of the cross / the things I thought were gain I count as loss / And with His suffering I identify / And by His resurrection power I am free!
“For I am crucified with Christ and yet I live / Not I but Christ that lives within me / His cross will never ask for more than I can give / For it’s not my strength but His–there’s no greater sacrifice / For I am crucified with Christ, and yet I live!”
So I got to thinking… “So? Nice lyrics, but what does Galatians 2:20 say to ME? Today, right here, right now?” I pulled out my trusty, duct-taped old copy of “The Message”.
See if this doesn’t help you. It does me. “I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not ‘mine’, but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.”
Hmm. “Ego…” “Appear righteous…” Wowsers. God doesn’t mess around. Those two issues are right out of today.
I don’t – won’t – speak for you. Gotta tell you, though, my ego and my desire to look good to all the rest of you? Yup. The Holy Spirit’s always whispering in Ralph’s ear for a little more close-order drill training.
“I have been crucified with Christ…” Hm. Radical. Life-altering. Definitely future-changing. Forever. So I need to take a hard look at any time I’d ever be tempted to revert back to “that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion”, as The Message labels it.
Not interested. First, I’m advanced enough in years that I feel no need whatsoever to please or impress you. And having spent several lifetimes going one-on-one with Death, your approval doesn’t much faze me, either.
I’m satisfied that this active, daily, growing relationship I now have with God blows the doors and wheels off the old stale, people-staring, box-checking religion I found so disheartening and disgusting before— well, before I chose to identify with Christ on the Cross – and His rising again.
Hmmph? Ralph? Oh, he’s my guardian angel. You oughta see the ribbons on his chest. That dude’s got some serious salad to show for having to take care of me.
Oh, yeah. I’m wanting to meet him. It won’t be hard; he’ll be right there, close to the Entrance, watching to see that I don’t break something on the way in. . .