Once again it’s time for many Christians to remember the sufferings, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. True born against Christians do not wait for another year to consider the person and His work as a religious ritual. Nevertheless, it’s good to ponder over few aspects of the death of Christ as world remember Him.
We have considered the importance and uniqueness of Christ’s sufferings and death earlier. It’s definitely one of the major themes of the Bible, vital topic of the gospel message and even the main subject matter of heavenly worship. Luke 24: 44 – 46; 1Cori 15: 1- 3; Reve 5: 8 – 12. So, it’s the responsibility of every born again Christian believer to reflect upon His sufferings and proclaim it till He comes. Cf. 1Cori 11:26.
We are very much aware of the purpose of His sufferings. He suffered for us, taking our place. He carried all our sins on His body and died as an atoning sacrifice once for all. He satisfied the demands of the law and God the Father is fully satisfied in His work on behalf of sinful humanity. Not only had He died rose again triumphantly. Today we have forgiveness, reconciliation, and cleaning etc, on account of what Christ did for us. Cf. 1Pet 2:24; 3:18; 1Jn 2:2; 4:10; Heb 2:10; 9: 28; 10:12; Rom 5: 9, 10; 2Cori 5:21. etc.
However, the effect of Christ’s death on a Christian is much more. We need to be aware of it and experience it daily. That is, our death with Christ. Notice what apostle Paul writes, “..If one died for all, then all died.” 2Cori 5: 14c. “Knowing this that our old man was crucified with him...” Rom 6:6
We may not comprehend it easily, nonetheless the New Testament teaches that when Christ died, not only He died we too died along with Him. Paul says, it’s not a just theological truth, but an experiential fact. If such a death has taken place it should be evident in a Christian’s life. Cf. Rom 6: 1 – 4.
Three areas it affects
1. Our death to sin. Rom. 6: 7, 11, 12
Paul’s point is poignant. Since we have been crucified with Christ, we should no longer be slaves to sin. “For he who has died has been freed from sin.” Rom 6: 6, 7. Paul compares sin to a ‘slave master’ to whom we were slaves before conversion. Now having died with Christ, this ‘sin master’ has no claim over us. In other words to live in sin, to cherish sinful thoughts etc is a contradiction, that denies what happened on the cross.
2. Our death to self. 2Cor 5:14, 15.
“He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves...” Here our death with Christ affects our self life. Cf. Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ: it’s no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me...” No more I, no more self, no more selfish ambitions or promotions. Contrary to such a life again is a denial of the efficacy of Christ’s work for us. If the death of Christ has any effect in our life as we claim, we can not live for self, seek glory for self etc.
3. Our death to the world. Colo 2:20.
“If you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why as though living do you subject to regulations...” Here the main point is believer’s death to the world. Paul says the same thing in Gal 6:14. “…by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
In Colossians he spoke of believers death to the traditions of the world (Col 2:20, 8), here he refers to all that the world offers to a Christian. Apostle John speaks of all that is in the world: the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. In other words, world has lot of things that can satisfy the cravings of our old sin nature, appetite of our eyes and make us proud of. John emphatically states, these are not of the Father. A believer is not supposed to have any affection for such things. 1John 2:15, 16.
It is our death to the world with Christ makes it practical in our life. On the contrary, if we still cherish worldly affections and life, John says the love of the Father is not in us. Also we deny the efficiency of Christ’s death for us. That means we are not effectively affected by the cross of Christ
How is it possible to practically experience the result of cross in our life? It seems Paul writes in this perspective, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Gal 6:17. “We who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake...” 2Cori 4; 11, 12. It is important to know, acknowledge and count ourselves as dead with Christ. Cf. Rom 6: 6, 11. Further, the indwelling risen Lord Jesus Christ empowers us to live in the newness of life.
It’s a shame and even painful thing for the Lord Jesus to see that even after His sufferings and death we still cherish sin, exalt self and live for the world. Let us be aware of the true meaning of Christ’s sacrifice and experience its effect in our daily life. Let us bear the mark of Christ, be willing to die daily. Though alive, live as if dead to the things around us. Just as the servant of the Lord lived, seeing many things but not taking a note, hearing yet not paying any attention. Cf. Isa 42:19, 20. Then, the sufferings and death of Christ has full meaning and effectiveness in our life. Surely, He will be pleased by such a result in our life.