I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
There is no need to try to get all deep about this scripture, though the implications go far beyond how simple it seems, and, it means absolutely nothing without faith. In the letter to the Galatians, Paul is trying to find out why they have left off from simply believing that they are righteous through faith in Jesus, and now trying to achieve righteousness through the works of the law, namely circumcision. In the 21st verse of Galatians 2 Paul states,
“I do not set aside God’s grace, because if righteousness could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing!”
Righteousness cannot be achieved through our behavior. It cannot be achieved by being in the right religion. It cannot be achieved by going to church every Sunday and Wednesday. Righteousness cannot be achieved through reading the bible every day. Righteousness is a gift! David wrote in psalm 32,
How blessed is the one whose rebellious acts are forgiven, whose sin is pardoned! How blessed is the one whose wrongdoing the Lord does not punish, in whose spirit there is no deceit. (Psalms 32:1-2)
So how do we get this gift of righteousness? How do we come to a place where God forgives us for our disobedience? Oh, wait! In actuality, God has already forgiven our sin. He has already reconciled us to Himself in Jesus Christ. So righteousness truly is a gift. But how can you receive a gift you don’t know you have been given? How can you receive a gift of forgiveness from God if you don’t think that you need such a gift?
John says in his epistle,
“If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”(1John 1:8-9)
What is sin? The bible says that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23) What does that mean though? When Adam and Eve “sinned,” they felt separated from God, the source of life. The word means: to have no part with; or separate. It was their choice to eat from the tree God had warned them about. God had given them free will. There was nothing they could do in and of themselves to reconnect. They could no longer see God as He really is. Their view was distorted and darkened. Anyone born into the human race after Adam and Eve had the same problem, being born in darkness (feeling separated from God, the source of life and light). We were in darkness. No one was able to see Him as He truly is. That’s why when Jesus came He said,
“No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son decides to reveal him.” (Luke 10:22)
The problem of sin is not about the sinful acts we commit. That’s why you cannot achieve righteousness by cleaning up your act or modifying your behavior. It is not about behavior. The sinful acts or our bad behavior is only a symptom of the disconnect we feel between God and us. And in reality that disconnect is only in our minds at this point. You can not live out of what you don’t know you have. Once you realize the love God has for you, and that you have been reconnected and restored in relationship with Him, everything about you will begin to change.
The Son of God came to earth as a man to reconnect us to the life source. One man disconnected us (Adam). The man Jesus reconnected us. All things were created by, and through, and sustained in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Therefore, when the One in whom all things are sustained becomes a man, He is now the new man, and all men are now in Him.
This is significant because the moment the Son of God was born into the human race the connection is made. So what happens to Him, happens to all of us. And if you don’t know, Jesus died at the hands of the very human race He came to rescue, and 3 days later was resurrected. And since we are connected to Jesus through His humanity, we died with Him.
Whatever happens to the ONE (Jesus) happens to us all. So, when He was raised from the dead, so was the human race. And when He ascended to His Father, we all as a whole were raised up with Him and restored to our Father.
Jesus is called the lamb that takes away the sin of the world by John the baptist.(John 1:29) In the old testament, a lamb was killed at Passover. It had to be a spotless lamb without blemish because it represented the Son of God, who would eventually take away the sin of the world by subjecting Himself to our sin, which cost Him his life. At the very height of our sin, which is literally killing the Son of God, we are forgiven.
The first Passover was celebrated the night before the children of Israel left Egypt. The people were to place blood from the lamb that was killed on their door posts and at the top of the door frame. The death angel that came through and killed all of Egypt’s firstborn would Passover any house that had the blood of the lamb. This is a picture of our deliverance through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. I also believe that had any Egyptians placed the blood of a lamb on their door posts and cil, the death angel would have passed over their houses too.
Jesus’ blood delivers us from death the same way the blood of the lamb did for Moses and Israel. The lamb absorbed the death blow of sin on behalf of the very ones who killed it. Jesus absorbed the death blow of sin on behalf of the very same human race that killed him.
Remember, what happens to the One happens to us all. Jesus has already saved us from spiritual death (separation from God), but there will eventually be a physical resurrection from the dead, the redemption of our bodies. Just as He was physically raised from the dead in His body, so we will also be resurrected to new bodies. *Read 1Corinthians 15:35 -55.*
For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation (Romans 10:10)
Look at these verses…
So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!
And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation.
Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us.
We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!”
God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God. (2Cor 5:18-21)
That’s why Galatians 2:20 is now one of my most favorite verses in scripture.
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Connecting to God is not as hard as religion has made it out to be. God loves you and me and has given us His life to prove it. All you have to do is receive it. Call on the name of the Lord today, Jesus.