Thursday, 19 March 2009

Crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)

When Christ died, His people died with Him. When He was buried, they were buried with Him. And when He rose, they rose in Him (Galatians 2:20, Colossians 2:11-13). When considering the death of Christ, this unity, this oneness with Christ is often forgotten – we often, as it were, stand at a distance. But do you see yourself crucified with Christ? Paul did. When he saw Christ crucified, he saw himself, his old man in Adam, slain with Him. “For I am crucified with Christ” he declares in Galatians 2:20. Were you?

When we see this it will dispel much confusion regarding what happened at the cross. For confusion does arise from considering the believer and Christ as two who are separated – from viewing Christ and what happened to Him as ‘over there’, and the believer and what happens to him as ‘over here’. We’ll only really understand what happened at the cross when we realise that the believer and Christ were united at the cross, and not only in that union that stood between Christ and His people from all eternity, but also in the bringing of that people as they are in Adam - in the flesh - into union with Christ at the cross.

It is what believers are in Adam which God judged in Christ when they were united to Him in death. He became what they are, as sinful, fallen sons of Adam, that God might judge them in Him. United with Christ He became what they are – sin. And it is because of the reality of this union that God the Father poured out his vengeful wrath upon His own Son – the One in whom He is well pleased – in order to judge and destroy that very sin, and all that was of the first man Adam, in His Son. And it is because of the reality of this union, that when that sin had been utterly destroyed, and there was no more sin to judge, and no more sins to pay for, and nothing was seen by the eye of justice but the perfect righteousness of God in Christ, that God’s people were, as a result, made to be the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Why? Because they are in Him, and their old man in Adam has been destroyed, and has died, in Christ.

Men may speak of imputation to describe such things. But such language can keep things ‘at a distance’. It keeps the believer and Christ apart at the cross. It, as it were, has the believer over here, and Christ over there, and it takes the believer’s sins and reckons them to be upon Christ, and He having died, it then takes His righteousness and accounts it to be the believer’s. But this is only half the story, for it falls far short of the full depths of the truth of substitution as set forth in the scriptures – it stops short of the reality of that mystical union between God’s people and Christ at the cross, of them being crucified with Christ, of them actually being united to Christ in His death, whilst in their old nature, in order that God might judge and destroy that very nature in His Son (Colossians 2:11, Romans 6:6) and deliver His people from both it and all its consequences, to deliver them from sin, and the consequence of sin – death (Romans 5:12).

Believer – when you understand the reality of how truly you were united with your Saviour at the cross, of how you died in Him, then, and only then, will you truly understand something of the depth of what He suffered, of what He did, for you as your substitute. All the pain, all the suffering, all the travail, all the anguish was His – but it was caused because we were in Him, our Substitute, in whom WE died… and in whom, WE rose again! Praise God!

“For I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Excellent and accurate revelation of the Gospel! Evidently brother Ian, you have the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation from the Father.... may you continue to speak forth the true Gospel of Christ..