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Today I Killed Jesus!

April 23, 2014

April is the month of flowers, rain, worms (at least on my sidewalk), and this year, Easter!

Watching my kids perform at our church’s annual Easter dramatic presentation made me think a lot about killing! I know that when people think about Easter, they focus on Jesus’ resurrection, but for me, I’m interested in killing!

Let me explain.

The apostle Paul spent a lot of time trying to explain all kinds of deep theological ideas related to living life connected with and controlled by Jesus and . . . well, not. He used two examples his readers understood really well: crucifixion and death. It’s all over in his writing.

For example, he wrote, “I have been crucified [the flesh] with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live [Spirit-filled life] in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Then in the book of Romans he clarifies what he means. “Those who live according to the flesh [natural, unsaved state] have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit [have been crucified with Jesus] have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:5-8).

Paul plainly tells the Colossians, “Since, then, you have been raised [from death] with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died [crucified], and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death [crucify], therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived [the flesh]. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self [the flesh] with its practices and have put on the new self [the Spirit, aka Jesus], which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:1-10).

Last, the writer (whoever it was) of the book of Hebrews bluntly adds this dire warning and rebuke: “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace” (Hebrews 6:4-6).

It’s interesting that in this passage of Scripture the writer describes a progressively deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus; he’s not describing somebody who is a “baby” Christian, but somebody who consistently, purposely, and willfully sins. Yikes! I hope that doesn’t describe you. In the past it has certainly described me perfectly.

So let me ask you: today . . . and every day, whom are you killing? Are you, like Paul, choosing today to kill the old, natural, not-so-nice you? Or are you—by your life: your thoughts and your actions—purposely choosing today to crucify and kill Jesus? Remember, the thing you don’t kill will continue to live and rule you.

If you haven’t made the decision to kill your flesh, I encourage you to do it today. As Paul put it: “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin [crucified with Jesus] and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:20-23).

I don’t know about you, but I want to be thinking about crucifying a person (ME) every day—not just on Easter. I hope you’ll make that same decision.

Until next time, this is Miranda writing.

Scripture quotations credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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