I Am Crucified With Christ

In Christ. I use those two words when closing any written correspondence with the church. It's my mystical tendency. My left brained, seminary trained, brethren can explain salvation with surgical precision. I prefer the cloudy language of the poets and prophets. God's grace is always better experienced than explained. "In Christ" sums up, in something of a cloudy way, what it means to be a Christian.

The same willingness to ponder casts light on the words of Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ..." Really? How so? The surgeon's scalpel doesn't help here. To uncover and live out the meaning of these words requires the solitude and stillness of the poet's prayer.

Paul wasn't present when Jesus died on the cross. Yet he said he was crucified with Christ. Paul means something spiritual, something beyond time and space, something only God can do. Welcome to the world of the now and the not yet, or if you will allow it, the world of what is and what is.

Think identification. Paul is making this personal, more personal than any previous relationship. He is identifying with Christ so completely that it can rightly be said that what is true of Christ is true of Paul. When Christ was crucified Paul was crucified. When Christ died Paul died. When Christ fulfilled the demands of the Law so did Paul. This is precisely the reason Paul was so adamantly against the Galatian believers trying to go back to the demands of the Law. All had been fulfilled in Christ.

Fascinating isn't it? I am in Christ so I am crucified with Christ. There is nothing left for me to do. No Law to fulfill. No punishment. No condemnation. I am as free from those things as a dead man, one that died long ago on a cross.

I do not work to be saved. I do not work because I am saved. I rest in Christ and in his finished work. The life that I live now I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. But I'm getting ahead of myself...that's later in the verse and the subject of another blog.

For now it is better to look into the cloudy wonder of the cross, where I was crucified with Christ.


Anonymous said...

Our union with Christ is THE most important issue in Christianity, and THE most neglected and misunderstood in America.

Thanks for not being too cloudy on this issue ;)

In Christ,
- Sean Tanner

Pastor Scott said...

Dead to sin; Alive to God. What a thought!