Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and 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 up for me."
Introduction and review
Yesterday we considered the first reason as to why the Miraculous Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth in His first advent. We discovered He came to achieve a miraculous birth that would be the basis for the Christian's new birth. We noted that the reflection of the Miraculous Son's humanity is to be seen in the Christian's humanity.
In other words, as seen in today's posts and the up and coming one's, everything Jesus came to achieve in the realm of His humanity was so that all who by grace through faith heed the call to salvation can experience everything he experienced. Jesus Christ had a miraculous birth so that all sinners Divinely affected by the Spirit through the scriptures could have a miraculous birth. Today we want to consider how Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection not only provided the basis for salvation but also the basis for the Christian's ongoing sanctification or process for becoming more like Jesus Christ.
Linking Jesus' crucifixion to the believer's co-crucifixion
How many events do you and I know of that occurred over 2,000 years ago and that have personal relevance to us today? Only one: the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Four Gospels present to us the event and life of Jesus Christ. The Book of Acts and the Epistles present to the reader the experience of life that occurs when they by faith connect to Jesus Christ. Quite literally - every child of God can say they have been "co-crucified" and "co-resurrected". The Person and work of Jesus Christ is inserted into the sinner's timeline at saving faith. There are so many scriptures that speak about believers having been "co-crucified" and "co-resurrected" in Jesus Christ. For brevity's sake, I will list three of them which speak most explicitly from the Book of Galatians, and mention the others by simple reference:
1. Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and 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 up for me."
2. Galatians 5:24 "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."
3. Galatians 6:14 "But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Other scriptures that link Jesus' crucifixion to the Christian's co-crucifixion are: Romans 6:3-11; 8:3-4; Colossians 2:11-14).
Linking Jesus' resurrection to the believer's co-resurrection
Every Christian can also say they too have been raised to walk forth in newness of life! (Romans 6:4-11; 8:11) Notice a few scriptures that explicitly connect the believer's co-resurrection to Jesus':
1. Romans 8:11 "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."
2. Colossians 2:13-14 "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."
3. Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)".
Putting it all together
The story is told of Dr. A.B Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance church commenting on how to capture the essence of the Christian life. Dr. Simpson is reported to have said the word "habitation", since the word removed the experience and resulting faith of the Christian life from and "it" and replaced it with a "Him". Author H. Jack Stanley notes about Simpson's insight: "It is Christ Himself personally present and active with the believer, who has come to trust the Lord and live daily by Him in the spiritual realm." As was noted at the beginning of this post: whatever Jesus experienced in his humanity on this earth, the Christian is so-connected by the Spirit in saving faith. Jesus, touching his humanity, was miraculously born and thus the Christian can say: me too! Jesus in his flesh was crucified, and thus the Christian can affirm: "I as well". Jesus, touching his humanity, was raised from the dead and the Christian by definition as experienced a resurrection in their human spirit, is operating on resurrection power in their human soul and looks forward to a physical resurrection in their human body. The Miraculous Son came to achieve a miraculous birth, death and resurrection so that all who by grace through faith believe on Him could experience such saving realities.