The Blood disposes of our sins, while the Cross strikes at the root of our capacity for sin.
~ Watchman Nee
For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles
Oh beloved, it is true. The Gospel is exceedingly good news. And the truth is even bigger than we can hope or imagine. And it is all about the Life that comes from death. And no, this is not some sort of pseudo-mystical imagining. This is the real kind of mystery.
Let’s lay it down.
Jesus died to atone for our sins. But in this death, there was both a payment and a reconciliation. We, humans, were Designed to live in communion with our Creator. Our Creator is The TriUne Being. There are none like Them. They are so giving and serving and powerful that Their very individuality has made an eternal mark on the others. They are so into each Other, that they are indeed One. And it is this kind of communion we were designed to enter into.
So, as Oswald Chambers has said, the atonement in Christ’s death was so much more than a payment. It was an “At-One-Ment.” We were made one with Him. It is this reality – this being united with The King of The Universe – that takes us deeper into the mystery.
So yes, Jesus died to pay for our sins. But he included us in His death as well. He made us one with Himself. This is, perhaps, one of the most astounding aspects of our multifaceted salvation. But, there is a reality that is hard for us to comprehend.
We died with Him.
Yes, Jesus died for our sins. But, Jesus included us in this death, that the very “sin machinery” of our souls might be dealt a mortal blow. Oh, it is not that we cannot fall short of His glory. It is just that there is now no longer any need to do so.
More simply. Read this slowly: Jesus died for our sins. But Jesus killed us in this death, that our old man (self) would be rendered unable to continue in its bondage to sin and failure.
Can we see it? This death is comprehensive. It is not just the end of a phase of existence. It is the beginning of a new creation altogether. It is the end of bondage to sin, and the beginning of freedom. Where once, there was rebellion masquerading as freedom – there is now the Life of G_d in us and living through us. There is no need to “foist” our freedom on anyone – we are free. We are like G_d, and will be ever more like Him forever.
Once we begin to comprehend this, everything changes. The old me is dead, it has been slaughtered in the death of the King Whose death slaughtered death and ushered in a whole new species of man. We are, in a very real sense, bulletproof. Though the very darkest of the dark hosts of hell assault us, we are not just protected from harm – we are free from even the vulnerability to it.
So, are you feeling like you are struggling with sin? May this fool of a writer preach for a moment? The ‘you’ you are listening to, is dead. It is a dead voice and has no place in the new Life you have in communion with The Triune G_d of all creation.
Tonight is your night. Time to believe in your death in Him, that your real Life can truly begin.