I have met people who believe it is important to hang around the cross. That our lives are lived at the cross. There are some dangers in this kind of thinking even though it sounds humble and spiritual.
I have a good friend who attended one of our conferences in the 70’s. He did not like himself and for good reason. He had a sordid past and was extremely directive and controlling of others.
He listened intently during the conference with his wife and went home rejoicing. Why? Because he became convinced that the guy he had always known himself to be had died. This was exciting news to him. He soaked in this truth for a year. The next year he came back to hear the conference again. This time he heard more – he heard that he was raised with Christ and is seated with Christ at the right hand of God! (Ephesians 2:6) I know this was taught the previous year, but he wasn’t ready to hear it. God reveals things to us as we are ready for them. The first year he came to understand the cross. That was his need then. The second year he came to know his resurrection and enthronement because he had grown.
We emphasize at Exchanged Life Ministries the difference between the purpose of the blood of Christ and the cross of Christ. The purpose of the blood is to cleanse, reconcile, and redeem us. This prepares us for the entrance of the Life of Christ. The purpose of the cross of Christ is to kill us, or execute us along with Christ. This action delivers us from Adam, from ourselves (the self-sufficient self or flesh) and from anything that controls us, but especially the world, the law, and the power of sin.
Our death with Christ is a powerful truth but there seems to be a fair amount of confusion about it. There are a number of people who, after hearing about their death with Christ, believe that they need to continually die. They say such things as “I need to die to my temper” or “die to being irritated by Aunt Mabel,” or “die to my lust.” They are saying the cross or co-crucifixion missed a few items. They think the cross needs to be used to constantly kill them. My response begins with Romans 6:9-10 which states that “Christ having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died He died to sin once for all, but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” Verse 11 tells us that “likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Likewise means in the same way!
The work of the cross is something to be remembered and believed. Not something to keep reenacting. We died to the tyranny of Aunt Mabel, the law, the world, and the power of sin. Now that we believe and remember what happened and affirm our belief through the Word and the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, we need to proceed in our thinking to the heavenly places where Christ is. We were raised up with Him according to Ephesians 2:6.
What do you think about living up in the heavenliness in our post crucifixion life in Christ? Hebrews reminds us that you have come to Mount Zion and to the City of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an immeasurable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
My friends, do you want to join me in the heavenlies with Christ or live from down here? It is time to complete the journey and live from the heavenlies. Don’t’ waste the resurrection, the ascension and the enthronement! It was God’s ultimate intention for you to live down here from up there. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3).