Dying to Live
Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” (John 8:28-29)
In the humiliation of the cross, in the bitterness and ignominy of a very public execution, Jesus was to find glory. He was to be “lifted up,” to be honored, in his death.
The writer to the Hebrews puts it like this: “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9). Did you catch that? Jesus was “crowned with glory and honor,” not in spite of, but “because of the suffering of death.”
And in his glorious suffering and death, he provided a way for you and me: “…so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” That’s why Paul was able to say, “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).
Paul had discovered the secret - to find true life, he had to die: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
True life is found only in Christ, in dying to self and living for him. Read Romans 6:1-11. Read it slowly. Read it carefully. Read it prayerfully. And ask God to give you the grace to be “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).