Crucified With Christ

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Hill Of Crosses Diego Delso.png

Photo from Wikipedia Commons

On a remote field in Lithuania there is a hill called Kryžių Kalnas (pronounced cry-zoo kale ness), which literally means The Hill of Crosses. For over two centuries Christians have brought literally thousands of metal or wooden crosses and placed them on this hill. It’s an impressive site. National Geographic© stated that “some think the crosses {were} left by mourning relatives of the victims of revolts against the Russian regime in 1831, and later in 1863.” After World War II the area – governed by the Soviet Union – was under constant state sponsored attacks. The Soviet Government repeatedly tried to destroy the crosses. They even tried leveling the hill itself – but the people kept bringing crosses.

In time the Soviets gave up, and Lithuania gained it’s independence. The Hill of Crosses lives on, and
believers continue to bring crosses to this hill.

The Cross is constantly under assault throughout the world. It has always been under assault.

The devil despises the Cross, for in it he sees his defeat.
The world hates the Cross for it condemns sin.
As jewelry it’s accepted.
But in truth it is rejected.
To the Roman the Cross represented shame and death.

Rome invented the Cross as a means of torturing criminals. God took that method of torture and turned it into something that was not hopeless, but filled with hope. It was no longer a symbol of defeat, but a symbol of victory.

I heard a beautiful story the other day I thought I’d share with you. It was Easter season, and the Sunday School teacher brought in a bunch of empty plastic eggs. She let the kids go outside to find things that God made – flowers, tiny leaves, sand or rocks. She asked the kids to find something God made and put it inside the hollow egg, and bring it back to the classroom. One by one the teacher opened the eggs and commended the children for what they found. She talked about how God created everything, and loves us all very much. Then she opened one egg – and it was empty. She asked the children “whose egg is this”? and one little fellow named Bobby raised his hand. The other kids started to make fun of Bobby, but the teacher stopped them. Then she asked:

Bobby, why is your egg empty?”

Little Bobby said “Teacher you told us that Jesus died on the Cross – but He came alive again. He’s not in the grave anymore – that’s why my egg is empty!” Doesn’t the Scripture tell us “A little Child shall lead us?” Praise God for all who understand this great truth.

The Cross is empty, and the Tomb is empty.
Jesus paid for our sins.
Jesus rose from the Grave.
If we receive Him, we live with Him!

1 Corinthians 1:17-18 … For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

That which was meant to bring condemnation instead brought salvation to all who believe. The Bible does not describe the shape of the Cross, and the nails that held Jesus to the Cross are not even mentioned until after His resurrection. The Apostle Thomas said:

John 20:25 … Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

Interestingly enough this is the only place in the Bible that mentions the nails that were driven into our Savior. When Jesus appears later He tells Thomas in John 20:27 …” Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” Jesus alludes to the scars, but not the nails. Later when the Apostle writes about the effect of the Cross he says:

Colossians 2:13-14 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Even here the nails that held our Savior to that terrible Cross are not mentioned. Instead the Apostle speaks that the Law that we could not keep was nailed to that Cross. When Jesus died on Calvary He died taking our punishment on Himself. To violate God’s decree is to find death. The wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23). Adam sinned, and we as Adam’s children sin. But praise be unto God:

Galatians 4:4-5 … But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Our redemption from sin and death were secured because our Jesus stood in our place. The Father looked at the Son and said “Guilty as charged for the sins of humanity”. The Law was nailed to that old rugged Cross that day. Jesus is the Leader of His people, a revolutionary standing against satan, sin, and sickness. Many revolutions have come to an end because their Founder was killed. The revolution that Christ brought did not die with Him, but changed death into life. He died on that Cross, but rose again on the third day. When we who are His look at the Cross we see it empty – for “He is risen, just as He said! Go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead. He goes before you!” (Matthew 28:6-7).

Did Christ Die For You?

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ…


On the day that Jesus died there were many who saw the event. They were bystanders, people watching a show. The Christian is not a bystander at the Cross. The Christ is very much crucified with Christ. As one author put it:

Christ died for us – but we also died with Him”.

The old me – the law breaker, the people hater, the racist, the vandal, the drug abuser, the drinker, the skirt chaser – whatever your brand of sin was that brand died when the Cross branded you. You died – dear Christian – on that Cross with Jesus. That old pre-Jesus you is now gone. Jesus stood in your place on Calvary. He died for YOU.

Did Christ die for you? Not for your neighbor, your spouse, your mother or father, aunt or uncle. Did Christ die for YOU? The distinguishing mark of the Christian faith is that it is intensely personal. The word “I” is found five times in this text. The Apostle knew he was saved because he had a personal relationship with Christ in that Cross. Did Jesus die for YOU? Was the Law of God nailed to that Cross for YOU?

One of the most dangerous things – the most terrible of sins – is the sin of “Do It Yourself” Righteousness.

Jesus preached the Gospel over and over again in the presence of the Pharisees but reached very few. Why was this? Because the Pharisees kept looking at small errors and sins in others rather than examining their own lives in the light of God. This is why Jesus warned us against judging others. He said:

Matthew 7:1-3 Judge not, that ye be not judged. {2} For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. {3} And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Suggestion: Bring a 2×4 to Church with you.
Hold it up to your eye as you judge others in the crowd!

In a humorous way Jesus addressed the problem with judging. When we begin to judge others we often become blind to our own sins and insufficiencies. We spend time picking at those around us, finding fault as the Pharisees did, and we miss the Cross for ourselves. No one is baptized for you. No one can take the Lord’s Table for you. No one can be saved for you.

I remember one story I was told of an old lady who loved to judge others. She was looking out of her window one day as a neighbor hung up her laundry on the clothes line in her back yard. She told her husband, “Why in the world don’t she wash those sheets before she hangs them up? I don’t understand how her husband can stand sleeping on those nasty linens. Doesn’t she have any pride?” The woman’s husband listen to her for a minute, then left the room. While she looked out the window he came to the outside of the window she was standing at – and began to wash it. Magically the neighbor’s sheets suddenly became clean! You see, the old woman was looking at the dirt on her window – not on her neighbor’s linen!

The Bible warns us to …

Philippians 2:12 … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

The devil loves it when we hear the Gospel and, instead of asking ourselves “what do I think of Christ” we begin judging others. This was Paul’s story when he was called “Saul”.

Philippians 3:5-6 … Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

When Paul – at that time in history Saul – was commissioned to go out and destroy Christianity he thought he was doing the work of God. He thought that with every Christian he brought to justice and judged that he was in a better place in Heaven. This is what the devil teaches all of his children. The devil teaches some that if they judge and kill the enemy, then they will receive 70 virgins on entering Heaven. The devil leads others to believe if they follow certain rituals that others are not following – if they count rosary beads or kneel at a statue or are baptized in a certain way – then they will be received into everlasting glory. There is confusion in every religion, even among those who call themselves “Christian”.

But then Christ knocked Saul down on the Damascus Road.
Christ blinded his physical eyes, but opened his spiritual eyes.
“Who art Thou, Lord?” Saul cried out.
“I am Jesus Whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5).

Saul died that day, but rose up from the Damascus Road Paul. Whereas Saul the persecutor judged and killed Christians, Paul the crucified went about lifting up others to the Cross of Calvary. When Jesus gets hold of you, dear friend, then you change.

Crucified with Christ, you die with Him.
Buried with Christ, the old man is dead.
Raised with Christ, you are as new creature!

You died with Jesus if you are a child of God.

I am reminded of the Gospel account where our Lord was beaten, flogged, bruised. A crown of thorns crushed down over His blessed head. The blood ran down into His eyes. The executioner and the crowd were unsympathetic. This was great sport. One Roman suggested that the Savior carry His own Cross. Putting that Cross on His back, the raw and splintered wood and pitch must have caused even more pain to those bloody shoulders. But Christ carried it. His death was unjust. He did nothing to warrant it. Even Pilate said:

Matthew 27:24 … I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

Here is the Lamb of God, carrying His own altar. Blood drips from His brow. Blood soaks His robe. Midway to the Hill of death Jesus falls and cannot continue. His body – though perfect – is nonetheless human. The Romans look in the jeering crowd and see one Simon a Cyrenian:

Luke 23:26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.

Why did this happen? I believe it happened according to the will of God. He wanted to show us something. You see, Jesus told us:

Luke 9:23-25 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

You Cannot Be Compelled And Be Saved!

Simon was COMPELLED to carry Christ’s Cross and to follow Him as He walked to Calvary. Yet God compels no one to salvation. No one is forced to be saved – to take up His Cross and follow Him. This is a choice that we are given. Simon was compelled – and outside of the mention of Simon being made to carry Christ’s Cross, there is no more mention of this man in Scripture. You cannot be forced to follow Christ, to be crucified with Him. God calls you to the Cross. He promises you forgiveness from sin by that Old Rugged Cross. But you must decide.

If You Choose To Die With Christ You Will Live

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;

Jesus Christ died on that Cross for you so that you can live. The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 15:3 … Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;

The Bible says that God is the Source of Life and Light. God is light, and in Him there is no darkness (1 John 1:5). All life is in God. But our sins separated us from God. When Christ died on that Cross He died for us. If I am crucified with Christ then this effects me physically as well as spiritually. The crucified person has his hands nailed to the tree. His feet are nailed to the tree. The one crucified suffers – but I am crucified with Christ. Not by myself, but I die with Him. The old me is dead. The me that comes away from that Cross is now changed.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

If I am saved then Christ liveth in me. I am not the same old me, but Jesus is in me, changing me slowly to be like Him. The Christian trusts in the death of Christ to save him. The Christian trusts in His life to live. Christ liveth in me. I am not as I was. Sin is not my master. Death is not my master. Satan is not my master. My Master is Jesus Christ – and He lives in me. The Christian is a different creature now. This is why the Scripture says:

Colossians 3:1-10 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

The Christian who is indeed a Christian died the day that he received Christ as Lord and Savior. That old man is gone. Now we seek to live and love in Christ. Christ is in us. We are His hands and feet.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God,

The life which I now live I live by faith.
Not by feelings, but faith.
I live looking unto Jesus, not unto anything else.

The Psalmist said:

Psalms 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

What gives us an overcoming faith is that we who are saved keep our eyes on Jesus. We do not worry about tomorrow – but we follow Him day by day.

Some people are chronic worriers and complainers. I was reading something about complaining – what the Bible calls murmuring – the other day. It was written by Dr. Travis Bradberry (who wrote Emotional Intelligence 2.0) – and is a counselor to many of the Fortune 500 companies. He wrote:

Complaining is tempting because it feels good—like smoking or eating a pound of bacon—but complaining is not good for you. Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you and damages other areas of your brain as well. Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus—an area of the brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought. Damage to the hippocampus is scary, especially when you consider it’s one of the primary brain areas destroyed by Alzheimer’s. When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol shifts you into fight-or-flight mode, directing oxygen, blood, and energy away from everything but the systems that are essential to immediate survival. All the extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It even makes the brain more vulnerable to strokes.”

The devil loves to get people’s eyes off of the Cross. He loves to remove the Cross from the public eye. He loves to make little of the Cross. But God wants us all to look to the Cross.
The Bible tells us to look to Jesus!

Hebrews 12:1-3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Jesus died on that Cross with joy in His heart because He knew that – through that Cross – you would receive His life.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Jesus loved me, and gave himself for me not so I could waste my life, but so I could finally live my life in Him. He is in every believer. We are His hands and feet. We are a loved people – let us live as a loved people. Let us let Him live through us. The Apostle said:

Philippians 4:11-13 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Joseph Bentz wrote that in the Cross “We become one with Christ. For Christians, the response to Christ’s death on the Cross is not only gratitude. It is also participation. We let who we used to be die so that Christ may fill up the new life that replaces it.”

When you have Jesus, you have all that you need. Dwell on that Cross. Dwell on His dying for you. Dwell on the reality that you died with Him. Dwell on the certainty that He is in you, working through you. Your life has purpose. Let Jesus live through you. May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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