I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20  

Crucified With Christ (Gal 2:20)

| Nov 4, 2017

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I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. —Galatians 2:20

Crucifixion is a horrible death. One of the favorite means used by the Romans to execute enemies of the state, a criminal was typically secured to a vertical beam with a cross member by nails through each wrist and both feet. Death did not come quickly on a cross. It would usually take a person over thirty-six hours to die from suffocation once they became too tired to lift themselves up by their legs in order to allow air into their lungs.

Jesus Christ, the Creator and Sustainer of the cosmos, died such a humiliating death in order to save those whom the Father gave Him. And here, in the first book Paul wrote to the early church, he tells the congregations in Galatia that they too, as followers of Jesus, have been crucified.

As such, then, all followers of Jesus have been crucified. What this means is that our old sinful self which was at war with God, His enemy and fully under His wrath, is now gone. The bondage to slavery and darkness that had been our lot has now been removed because we have been, spiritually speaking, crucified along with Christ.

As Paul tells Christians later in his letter to the church in Rome, Christians are not only crucified with Christ, but they have also been buried with Him, raised with Him, and walk in newness of life with Him (Romans 6:2-4).

The crucifixion of Jesus is the seminal moment not only in the life of the Christian, but in all of recorded history. In it, Jesus finished and accomplished the mission of redemption that had been promised millennia before (Genesis 3:15). His resurrection is the inauguration of the coming restoration that will fully be revealed and consummated at His return.

Until that time, then, Paul says that Christians, who have a fully new identity by virtue of their union with Christ, live their lives not by earning anything, since Christ paid it all, but by faith. This faith is a trusting or resting in the completed work of Christ accomplished by His life, death, and resurrection and always produces fruit as evidence of the new identity in the life of a Christian.

Paul ends this verse with one of the most poignant lines in all of Scripture as he reminds Christians that the omnipotent, omniscient, fully-satisfied-in-Himself God of the universe loves us and gave Himself for us. Oh, what sweet music to the ears of a person who has been saved! May our faith-filled lives reflect back to Christ His beauty and worth as we seek to make much of Him for as long as He grants us here on His earth.

__________

Reflection Questions:

  1. Have you ever considered yourself to be crucified before?
  2. What implications does the reality that our old selves have been crucified have on our lives today in regards to our sanctification?
  3. In light of who Christ is, how does it make you feel to know that He lives in you? How might you respond to such a wonderful truth?

Pat Dirrim is the Pastor for Students and Families at Grace Fellowship of South Forsyth, GA. Prior to this position, he and his family lived and served as missionaries in Guatemala. He has served as a teacher in various ministries within the church since its founding in 2003 and currently is teaching The Blazing Center to high schoolers. Pat and his wife Barbara have seven children ranging from 10 to 19 years old. Pat is an avid CrossFitter and enjoys working out with his family.

Children Desiring God (CDG) publishes Fighter Verses and offers products to support you in your Bible memory efforts. CDG also publishes God-centered Sunday School curriculum for children and youth, parenting booklets to equip parents to spiritually shepherd their children, and the Making Him Known series of books for family devotions.

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