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Wednesday, April 8, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

"I am crucified with Christ." Galatians 2:20

Crucifixion does not bring death in a moment. It takes time. It took time to kill Jesus and the others strung up atop the Place of the Skull.

It was an agonizing scene. It was obviously a barbaric badge of gross abuse blighting the rule of the Roman emperor; nevertheless, the cruelty continued.

Yet it was Paul who said that he was willing to be crucified as well. "I am crucified with Christ."

Earlier on, Jesus had commanded that those who would follow Him had to pick up their daily crosses; if they did not, they were not in His number.
Why this call to death?

The reason is because until we die out to our own self-centered lives, we cannot life our souls into Christ's holy presence.

Christ provides us the gift of mercy against our sins; however, sanctified life can only come about when we will to give all to Jesus for His plan to be imprinted upon our practical everydays.

That may sound sweet at first hearing; but it is grueling. The human being does not really want to surrender totally to anyone but the subtlest of egocentricities.

Therefore, the sweet call to entire commitment to Christ is soon wiped away as sheer overzealous religious enthusiasm. Worldly logic dictates that the urge to make surrender be tempered with a more reasonable religion.

However, those who know Jesus, know that He is God. Therefore, whatever God demands must be met on His terms for He is God. Following then that logic, one must come to the pain of personal crucifixion. It is the willingness to die out to personal ambition, dying out to having to have life one's own way.

That may start with a lunge forward toward the cross. But it is usually followed up with a time frame of crucifixion since crucifixion does not take place within a moment. There were hours and sometimes days that it took for the cruel act to take place during the Roman regimen.

So it will be with most of us. We will wrestle against the nails. We will argue against the timber. We will fight against the darkness that settles upon our mid-afternoons. We will not want to take the taunts from close relatives who think we have lost it. We will want to be more accommodating to those in the office, at the factory.

Therefore, it usually takes some time for us to really reckon with crucifixion with Christ. But those who do so do come upon the holy life presence of Jesus. And only those who do.

Contemplate your own state. Where are you with Christ?

Are you on the cross, letting Him have His blueprint stretched across your canvas? Or are you still claiming the cross while informing heaven of what is best for your existence?

Yield yourself to the crucifixion over time and know that it is sure.