Sunday, November 23, 2014

I am Dead

"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."  Colossians 3:2-3

I am dead.

There's no way to sugar-coat that.  It's not mystical.  It's not figurative.  It's real.

I am dead.

In Galatians 2:20, Paul says that we have been crucified with Christ.  Romans 6:6 states it similarly.  The message is spread throughout the Bible, in both the New Testament and the Old, yet we take it so lightly.  Simply by looking at the language of scripture, it's plain to see that this fact is far more than just an idea.  It's a reality.

To be crucified is not a light thing.  We are each told to pick up our cross (Matthew 16:24, Luke 9:23), but in the days of the Roman empire, this action meant the end.  When a man picked up his cross, his friends and family would never see him again.  There was no chance of return.  His fate was sealed.

I am dead.

I have been crucified with Christ.  Nathan Tasker no longer exists; he died at the age of fourteen.  My friends and family will never see me again.  There is no chance of return.  My fate is sealed.

But that's not all.  I died, but I was replaced with a new man (Colossians 3:9-10).  This new man is not Nathan Tasker, however.  My identity is found in Christ (Galatians 2:20).  So if I have truly died, how can I continue in my old ways (Romans 6:1-2)?  How can I use Nathan Tasker - that man who lived from 1996 to 2010, who is now just a part of history - as a pattern to follow?  That's not me.  Christ is who I am, completely.

There is no partial crucifixion.  There is no partial surrender.  There is no partial death.  If you have truly been crucified with Christ, there is no turning back.  It's over.  Everything earthly about you must be put to death - murdered (Colossians 3:5).  You are of Christ, and now the life that you live - every moment, every situation - has to be lived for Christ.

I am dead.

And I die every day.  I am nowhere close to matching the perfect holiness of my Creator; I may never be.  Every day is an opportunity to crucify everything earthly about me: my old habits, my old desires, my old thoughts.  If I want to call myself a follower of Christ, I have no choice but to follow Him in crucifixion.  There is no middle ground.

I am dead.  Are you?