The Mysterious Exchange
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 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, in Romans 6
Oh beloved, it is true. Many of us who are believers in Christ, have struggled mightily – and failed to an even greater degree. And the only mark we have left on life is more like a marring scar on some beautiful surface.
We felt doomed. And we thought there was no way we could ever be successful in the new walk we had started for Jesus. Each time we made the tiniest amount of progress, we would falter and slip and slide back even further than the first step we had taken.
Something wasn’t right. Everything was just too hard.
We knew that Jesus had died a mightily heroic death for us. We knew that He was the only One who could make the sacrifice. He was perfect, and we knew that He had taken the blow for us. The penalty for our sins had been paid, but we felt powerless to pay Him back for His great work on our behalf.
And then one day the failures become just too much. We come to the very end of our abilities to even try to live for Him. Everything we do just becomes wreckage and sadness and failure and eruption of flesh… Little did we know at the beginning of this moment, that this was the very best place we had ever come to in our newfound Life in Him.
For on the other side of this moment, we looked up to Him and saw something astoundingly wonderful! Suddenly upon surrender to our utter inability to live the Christian Life, we looked to Him. We looked to this same Jesus who was crucified on our behalf, and we suddenly (though we said we believed it before) realize that He is no longer dead.
He is alive! And somehow we begin to understand something through His Spirit at work within us. He has gone through the whole process of dying for the sin we were, but that He has also utterly swallowed it up in victory and regained Life at a level we have yet to understand.
We see in all of His dying and resurrecting an enormous outpouring of Love and Life and Hope and Strength and real Power. And suddenly we understand. This is the power that is at work within us; for it is Him within us. And Him being in us – and eternal – has brought us through the entire process with Himself.
We did not just make some choice to live for a hero. The Hero gave His Life for us, and brought us through the entire death of the sin, and ourselves, into the glorious Light of His presence where there is eternal strength and joy and hope and freedom to simply live as who we already are.
We are in Him. He is in us.
We are now alive with the same strength and power that brought about His infinite and eternal resurrection from the dead. We are now so alive that all of who we used to be is not able to even exist alongside us. The old ‘me’ is as eternally dead as we are now alive in Him.
Can we see it? It is not about us! It is, most definitely, all about Jesus. We don’t live for Him. We Live in Him – and He in us. The strength for living comes from His protection without and His power within. There was never any way we could live for Him in our feeble human strength. And upon coming to understand this, we exchange the greatest of religious lies, for the most freeing of spiritual Truths. – Makala Doulos is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is a frequent Freedom Fighter blogger
Daily Bible Reading: Job 10-13
Think About This: God cannot accept goodness from me. He can only accept my badness, and he will give me the solid goodness of the Lord Jesus in exchange for it. ~Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31