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.
– Galatians 2:20 NASB
This content-rich sentence comes from a letter the apostle Paul was writing to gatherings of believers throughout the region of Galatia – part of what is today called Asia Minor (or Turkey).
Paul is speaking of himself, but as is so often the case, he is doing so to present himself as an example for those whom he is instructing. What he is saying is that we are to see Christ’s crucifixion as our own. Christ did not die on that cross so that we could go on living as usual. Rather, He died on the cross so that we could die to an old self and live to a new self.
The old self is self-centered, focused on this world and this life, trying to get ahead, trying to gain the world so we can save our souls. It’s a life that is destined to fail; it’s going to end in death.
The new self is Christ living in me, expressing His selfless love through me, replicating His life through my new life. This new life doesn’t end in death; rather, it transitions through resurrection from death to heaven – where we go on living forever and ever.
Through Jesus’ crucifixion, we die to the sinners we were…so that we can live to be the saint that He is. And all because Christ “loved me” so much that He “gave Himself up for me.” Paul’s taking this whole Jesus thing very personally…and he wants you and me to take it personally, too.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
(Re-read the Scripture above, then say…) Lord, I know that my old way of life should be tied to Your crucifixion so that I might live a new life today tied to Your resurrection. In the next few moments, please give me glimpses of how that can look in the life of duty I need to live today. And give me the strength to do my duty before You all day long…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.