They beat Him beyond recognition. They stripped Him of His garments and gambled them away. They spat on Him as they mocked Him. They placed a crown made of thorns on His head as they took great pleasure in their blasphemous insults toward Him.
We who were raised in church remember reading the Easter story and being told that Jesus died for us to forgive us, because we were sinners. That is true, but so much more happened.
I was present the day Jesus was nailed to the tree. I wasn’t just in the crowd yelling out, “Crucify Him!” I was crucified with Him. How is this possible? How can this be, if this took place a couple thousand years before I was even thought of?
Cliché, I know, but “the Bible tells me so.”
So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. (Romans 7:4, NIV)
He wasn’t just thinking of me as He hung on the tree; it was through Him that I was present and died to sin. He took what I spiritually deserved so I will never have to experience the repercussions of not being a child of God. The veil was torn between me and God spiritually through Christ’s death. A New Covenant established through His blood, and upon the day I was spiritually reborn, I entered eternity.
For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:5-6, NIV)
This scripture is not discrediting the law by any means, but it further explains why the law was given.
The law should not be viewed negatively, because it serves two purposes. The law was never given to us to give us life. The commands of the law were given to expose our need for God and point us to repentance. Like anything else, apart from God, our flesh nurtures our sinful nature. Therefore, depending upon ourselves to uphold the law stirs those fleshly desires within us. Trying to uphold God’s law apart from Christ and on our own produces sin.
Before Christ, I was bound to the law. I was held to a standard I could not meet. Christ was the only one worthy to die in my place. I was not capable of a relationship with God until Christ.
In Christ, I died to sin and I was released from the Old Covenant. He had fulfilled the law. I am no longer enslaved to my sin. I am no longer a sinner. I became alive in Christ. I was reborn in my spirit and His Holy Spirit came to dwell within me. I am now a new creation in Christ Jesus. It is no longer my life, but Christ’s life in and through me. My flesh no longer has power over me. I now can choose to live by my flesh or walk in the power of the Holy Spirit each moment. The same is true of you if you have been reborn.
Celebrate that the old you died with Jesus on the cross and went to that cold dark tomb never to be seen again. When He arose, the new creation He designed you to be arose to a new life in Christ. When He ascended He didn’t leave you until He returns for His Church. He is with you now, and because of His sacrifice you will benefit from His presence upon the day of your salvation, each moment in between, and throughout eternity.
We would love to hear what the cross means to you. Leave us a comment.
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