The gospel is not simply the story of “Christ, and Him crucified”; it is also the story of my own crucifixion. (Milton Vincent in A Gospel Primer for Christians)
For real Christ-followers, those people who truly have a life-altering relationship with Jesus Christ, there must increasingly be an identification with the Cross of Jesus.
This reality is perhaps better understood in a question: Is it possible to think properly about Jesus, to truly know who He most essentially is as a Person, without the Cross being in the center of that knowledge?
Here’s the thought that exploded in my heart this morning: as a Christian my life has been swallowed up by His – my identity has been joined with and united with His. In the Gospel we learn that we were crucified with Christ, raised with Him, and are now seated with Him in heavenly places.
Paul made it so very clear in Galatians 2:20:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I live in this body, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Those are the words of a man who no longer had an identity separate from the Person and work of Jesus Christ. This is a man who cannot think of himself independently of the Cross of Jesus.
It is impossible to think rightly about Jesus…and thus about the nature of God…without a deep consideration of the implications of the Cross. Without the Cross we don’t truly know who God is and what He is like.
And the same is true about real Christ-followers:
Without a deep consideration of the implications of the Cross in and upon our own lives, even hour-by-hour, we are not truly living in the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us.
In the next post we will consider some of these implications.