Crucifixion does not give sane people positive thoughts. It’s a grueling, gruesome experience that tortures and punishes the one being crucified. It causes hours of suffering and pain before death. By the time victims of crucifixion breathe their last breath, death is often a welcomed outcome, just to make the agony end.
So many of us take Jesus’ crucifixion for granted. We hastily read the verses that say He gave Himself for us and sing the closing hymn, that is, if we countenance His sacrifice at all. But when you consider how much He gave when He was born into the human family (though continuing to be divine), suffered rejection, privation, disrespect, temptation, hunger, sadness, agonizing yearning to be in His Father’s presence, etc., it makes you wonder how He could love us so much. He was beaten, spat upon, mocked, had His beard violently ripped from His face, and killed for our sins. But what was the point of all this? Why would Jesus go through all this for us?
The perfect law of God, which is the transcript of His character, could not be changed. He emblazoned it on two tables of sapphire stone with His own finger. It was a microcosm of universal order, which He then promised to write in our minds to inform our conscience, by the Holy Spirit. However, as you know just from taking stock of your own life, we sin so regularly, we hardly recognize it anymore. Jesus came to demonstrate full submission to His Father’s will, die the death we deserve (for transgression of the law), and give us the eternal life that He deserves. The Question is: “Does He want us dead or alive?”
Crucified with Christ
Our theme text states that we are crucified with Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, He did so in human flesh as a representative of all men and women who would ever be born. If we have faith in Him and accept that we need Him to save us from our sinfulness and empower us to do His will, we become born again believers. That is to say, our old lives of selfishness and unmitigated sinning are crucified. We are dead to sin, spiritually speaking.
The text continues. Jesus did not only die for us, but He also arose from the dead with all power over hell, sin, and death in His hands. He lived a perfect life through submission to the Father and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. So when He died the death we deserve, it was strictly for our sins, because He never sinned. When it was time, according to the prophecies that pointed to His resurrection, death could not hold Him, because He lived a sinless life. Miraculously, Jesus took up His life again, just like He promised and eventually ascended to heaven to minister for and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. When we accept all that this entails by faith, we are spiritually raised from the dead. We died to sin. Now, through the power of God’s Spirit, we can live unto righteousness. It’s a new birth experience. Now, when we are tempted, the miraculous power of God is available to keep us from falling (Jude 24-25; 1 Corinthians 10:13).
Does God want you dead or alive?
The answer is simple: He wants us to come to Him as we are and allow Him to crucify our sinful desires. He then blesses us with the power of the living God to do His will. Jesus wants us to die to sin and live unto righteousness so we can live eternally in His presence.
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L. David Harris is an editor, public speaker, voiceover artist, freelance writer, graphics artist, and author with almost 20 years of professional experience.