The crucifixion of Jesus on the cross was a many splendored event, so much so that during our human existence, we might never fully grasp the many mysteries of it. As important as the substitutionary aspect of Jesus’ death on the cross was, the cross was also a place where a representative death took place. The Bible makes it clear that while on one hand, He died in our place (substitution); it is also true that when He died, He took us along with Him to the cross (representation).
Are we to say that 2000 years ago, when Christ died on he cross, we were there with him? Sounds strange, but consider some of these verses,
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death— (Romans 6:4)
For if we have been united with him like this in his death,– (Romans 6:5)
For we know that our self was crucified with him— (Romans 6:6)
I have been crucified with Christ —– (Galatians 2:20)
For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)
A close examination of these verses show that our union with Christ on the cross was not a symbolic one but an actual event for those who have believed in Jesus as their Savior.
There is an eternal component to every man- one that does not die with physical death and one that was before man was born. It is this eternal component of man that is the real thing for every human being, with a physical component wrapped around it. And it is this eternal component that went to the cross 2000 years ago, that reality being miraculously achieved when during our physical existence here on earth, we take a decision to follow Christ.
When a person is approved for a citizenship in a country different from the one he was born into based on his merit, the spouse and children (for most reasonable countries) are approved as well. They might not have the merit to be accepted into the country, but their union with the primary person is sufficient for them to be let in as well with all the rights that the primary person has. Likewise, while we have no merit on our own to be let in to the God’s presence, our union with Christ (who alone merits entry into God’s presence) however makes it a reality. Much like the spouse and the children who are represented by the primary deserving applicant, we despite being unworthy and unholy are represented by the worthy and holy Christ.
The implications of this union go beyond entry into the eternal presence of God. On the cross where we died, a deathblow was dealt to the sinful nature of man. No longer does man have to wander about struggling and searching for that elusive freedom from sin. For one crucified on the cross, freedom is available and new life becomes a reality. Paul continues in Galatians 2:20;
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Yes, no other event in history had such far-reaching implications for man as the cross. Yet to be able to appropriate all that the cross has to offer, man needs to believe in the cross and the One who died on it.
- AVOIDING EXTREMES
- REBORN TO BE FREE