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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Get Wrecked.

Have you seen "The Passion of the Christ?" 
It includes one of the most visceral portrayals of Jesus's crucifixion ever seen on film. And not just the crucifixion, but the humiliation, the betrayal, the abandonment, and the scourging. 

When Jesus asked His very best friends to keep watch with Him as He prayed in Gethsemane, the depressive weight of despair and anxiety gnawing at Him, I cringed. Every lash of that Roman whip made me wince as Jesus was flayed alive. 


When the centurions mocked Jesus with a crown of thorns and a purple robe, and then spat upon him as they jeered, I felt the daggers of injustice. 


When Jesus labored under the weight of that cumbersome cross, I saw His love. 


When He hung upon the cross, gasping for air and crying out to the Father who had, for those dire hours, abandoned His one and only Son, I felt the utter hopelessness of my prayers bouncing off of my ceiling. When, at the ninth hour, Jesus said, "It is finished," and died, I felt the punch in the gut of loss but also bewildering confusion over the weight of His last words. "It" is finished. His mission. The penalty of our sin. God's plan for mankind. The course of history. All was finished. 

To get there, however, Jesus had to be literally "wrecked." The physical agonies would have been harsh enough, but there was also the cumulative weight and consequence of our sin. In every sense of the word, Jesus was wrecked. 

Doing a devotional this morning, I was gobsmacked by Galatians 2:20:


20 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. 
 

This is a very well known and oft quoted passage, but this morning, it was all new. Turns out, as believers, we too are crucified. With Jesus, we got wrecked. The trouble is, we don't often consider the full implications. Obviously, we never endured scourging, mocking, and crucifixion physically, but "I have been crucified with Christ" is much more than a metaphor. Our bodies, our minds, our souls have endured abject humiliation, mocking, and pain because we are with Jesus. When verse 20 tells us "it is no longer I who live..." that means that the pre-salvation self of ours DIED. 

Verse 20 should have extensive implications in our lives every single day. We have no reason for pride, for we have been scourged to the point of utter indignity. We have been mocked for whatever "high thoughts" we have of ourselves. When fleshly sin rises up and tried to give credit to ourselves, we need to get wrecked. Remember that we have been bloodied and laid bare before the eyes of the world. We have nothing of our own to boast about. We have been brought as low as a human can be brought. When temptations come calling, as they always do, we need to remember the weight of that ponderous cross, for sin is just that: a dire weight that drags us down. Listen, Paul tells us, because of Jesus, sin's utter control over us has had spikes pounded through its hands and feet. It has been hung up to suffocate. Its power over us is DEAD. 

What is life now? It's faith. Minute by minute faith in the Son of God. He gave Himself up for us, so that we might live. But in this world, we need to recall our own crucifixion. When sin calls, we need to get wrecked. We need to remember that we are part of all that Jesus endured and accomplished. There is nothing of ourselves. We didn't save ourselves. But, the flesh has been crucified. Trust in Jesus, moment by moment. Remember all He endured, and count it as having happened to you. Think of Jesus and get wrecked. 


3 comments:

M.H. Elrich said...

This is so true!

Anonymous said...

Totally!

Anonymous said...

Totally!