For believers, resurrection is always on the other side of crucifixion. Without crucifixion, there would be no resurrected life: Jesus’ or ours. Jesus was crucified that we might have life; we must crucify our flesh in order to live!
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin (Romans 6:5-7).
When we live to self we will only know death.
It’s a fresh lesson for me. Wrestling with God in the quiet one morning, I finally released into His hands a person I’d been trying to control. Every failed attempt became a brick in the wall I was building between us. I wasn’t loving them unconditionally, and I was driving a wedge between us. I took full responsibility for my own sin in the relationship, repented, and decided to trust God to do His will in them, not mine.
No more strings. No more expectations. Just love.
And in the midst of my notes, I sketched the physical reality of the crucified life. (Don’t laugh! Words are my form of expression, not drawing!)
I cut the chords while opening wide my arms. The only way my arms will remain open to love – even those who aren’t safe – is if they are nailed to the cross You have for me to carry. Crucified to self, my arms are as wide open as they can be. My feet can’t go anywhere either. Crucify the flesh – arms are open, my feet can’t run and I’m totally vulnerable. This is for me, Lord. Crucify my flesh and love.
It is a place of total surrender. It is Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
What an appropriate truth for our Monday Meat this day after Resurrection Sunday, for it is the “What’s next?” of the resurrected life and the “How so?” of being a living sacrifice (see The Living Sacrifice of a Resurrected Life).
“And those who are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).
Jesus died once; we die daily (see 1 Corinthians 15:31).