As we’ve been in the habit this year of studying what it means that God is sovereign, I’ve found myself at times thinking about what that looks like for my life. God’s sovereignty means that he has absolute authority; He is not influenced by culture or the passing of time; His view of life is higher and fuller than mine could ever possibly be.
Then the other day I came across Galatians 2:20
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
In this passage Paul introduces the idea of the crucified life.
Here’s what I believe he’s saying: The crucified life is a life wholly given over to Jesus in absolute humility and obedience in response to his undeserved mercy and grace.
At the start, this seems like a big contradiction. To be crucified most certainly means death. Crucified cannot, therefore, mean alive. This seems inconsistent. And it is. But Jesus is the King of inconsistencies, and we are blessed because of it!
Matthew 19:30 – First = Last
Luke 21:1-4 – Poor = Rich
Matthew 23:11 – The Greatest = Servant
Matthew 10:39 – To lose life = To find life
Paul says this in Philippians 3:12
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
The crucified life is committed to absolute surrender to Jesus. We won’t arrive there, however. We won’t be perfected until Jesus returns one day. Until then we press on toward it. What did it take for Jesus to take hold of you and me? The Cross. Since I am to press on to take hold of that which Jesus took hold of me, the cross is the way in which I approach Jesus in return.
What does this mean? One, it means I am committed to following him. To be more like Him; to think like Him; to act like Him; to love like Him. This is the entire essence of my life is Jesus.
Two, others should see the change in me. I’ve experienced grace in Jesus. My life should be so bright, so loving, so joyful, so marvelously different from the world that those around me are attracted to the cross. Does this mean that I never have a bad day? Clearly, no. But your worst day here on earth is grieved as the temporary thing that it is. You and I have a hope that transcends rejection, fear, hurt, and death.
Three, it’s not about rules or regulations. The crucified life isn’t about what we do or don’t do; It’s not about pointing fingers or comparing ourselves to others; It’s not about traditions or preferences. The 20th Century preacher and author A.W. Tozer says, “The Cross means we don’t get caught up in the nuances of religion and miss the glorious joy of following after Jesus. Whatever hinders us on that journey must be dealt a deathblow.”
So, what is hindering you that needs dealt a deathblow? What needs to die so that you can live a fuller life in Jesus? I want you and me to experience more of our Heavenly Father’s sovereign power at work in and through us.
Maybe our Good Dad in Heaven is pressing onto your heart something that needs to die in you this week. Let him kill it. He loves you. He won’t let you out of his hand. Take a step of trust.
White Oak Christian Church