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. Galatians 2:20 (NIV).
How are we free through Christ’s law of liberty? Answer: when we accept that we’ve been executed with him. Murderously tortured. Humiliated; rejected; scorned; reviled; destroyed; when we die through the old law, our sinful nature is crucified with Jesus. It’s as if the soldiers are nailing our hands and our feet to the wood, on the same cross with Him. The moment He died, our old life died with Him.
And on Easter morning, when He rose, our new life rose with Him. The old guilt, the old baggage, the old everything: new, fresh, redeemed. He subjected our life of sin and the law that confined it to the punishment of His death, then made it new through the promised resurrection that wasn’t possible under the old ways. He did all this before we were even born, so that we would receive it as soon as we believed Him.
So how come we keep screwing up? Answer: you’re imperfect. I’m imperfect. We aren’t Jesus, who was perfect and never afflicted with sin. We wear the scars of our sins, just as He now bears the scars for them, too (on His hands and feet). Even as our old sins are fully gone forever, new temptations still plague us, and human nature sometimes kicks in. Every time sin attacks us, because we’re human, we’re still vulnerable.
Yet the faith in the Son of God remains, reminding us that we He made us new and fully forgiven, made into someone we weren’t before. New sins are just as forgiven as old ones, only the aftermath of them now contains something it didn’t before: Him. He took the legal punishment for all mankind’s sins and overcame it. He extinguished the dying embers of the old law and replaced them with the eternal flame of His law of liberty.
We aren’t forced to believe in any of this. We can choose differently, convincing ourselves that Jesus is just a made-up proposition to control weak minds. Good luck with that line of illogic; it leads to hopelessness and oblivion. Along the way it denies both the historically corroborated facts about Jesus as well as the intangible yet real peace only He imparts. Jesus invites us, doesn’t force us, and maybe that’s the most beautiful thing of all. He loves us enough to respect our humanity. When we accept Him in return, we accept that we died at Calvary with Him, and rose anew one garden Sunday morning.
For further reading: Matthew 4:3, Romans 6:6, Romans 8:10, 1 Peter 4:2, Galatians 2:21
Lord, I believe in You! I accept Your free gift of love and life!
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