Monday, April 03, 2006

Crucified with Christ

I started reading Galatians this month. This morning I read 2:20.

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

The phrase "I have been crucified with Christ" is really interesting to me. I tend to use the phrase 'Christ died for me' but here Paul says that 'he was crucified with Christ'. Then he writes of no longer living and then about the life he lives. Strange paradox for sure.

The verses before and after (and really most of the letter) is centered around how we cannot be justified by the works of the law. If we could somehow make ourselves righteous by being good, then Christ had no reason to die. In verse 19 Paul says that he, Paul, died to the Law. One might ask 'when Paul did you die to the law?' and his answer is found in verse 20. He died to the law when Christ did. You see when Our Savior died, He not only died to pay the debt we owed, He died to cancel out the the very decrees that declared us unworthy. (Col. 2:13-15). He came to set us free from the law of sin and death.

Life - true life - comes not through trying to do good. Life only comes through faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself up for us. Without faith in Him and what He did we have no hope.

What stands out to me is that for Paul the gospel was not just something he professed faith in once but to him it is a day-to-day dependence. Yet I find that I still try to justify myself in the flesh. I subtly try to dress myself in my own righteousness (which is not really righteousness at all). I have no good in me and I think of that great hymn "Nothing but the blood of Jesus", particularly the third verse.

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Chorus:Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Yes Indeed! "Heir of salvation... Purchased above...Born of His Spiri...Washed in His Blood."