I’ve been reading Like Christ by Andrew Murray as a devotional for awhile now and the passage I read today was specifically about the call to be crucified with Christ. Murray is discussing how we develop the character of Christ in our lives today and one of those characteristics is the fact that Christ is the crucified one and we are called to identify in that piece of his identity as strongly as any moralistic action he took or beautiful thing he said. The ugliness of the cross becomes something else entirely as life becomes the byproduct of a hideous implement of death.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” – Galatians 2:20
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” – Galatians 5:24
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” – Galatians 6:14
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” – Romans 6:6
“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” – Romans 6:8
It is so easy to forget the message of what Jesus calls us to and just how He did it. It was a glorious reminder of the work of Christ in not only giving me hope in a future salvation, but giving me freedom in the life I live today. I long labored to declare myself free of stubborn sin (I still do), but it is in complete surrender to Jesus and reminding myself of His humble death that I find true freedom and joy. Murray ends his chapter with a prayer that broke my heart and reminded me so much of the simple truth that I must cling to, I hope it does the same for you.
Precious Savior, I humbly ask You to show me the hidden glory of the fellowship of Your cross. The cross was my place, the place of death and curse. You became like us, and have been crucified with us. And now the cross is Your place, the place of blessing and life. You call me to become like You, and as one who is crucified with You, to experience how entirely the cross has made me free from sin.
Lord, give me to know its full power. It is long since I knew the power of the cross to redeem from the curse. But how long I strove in vain as a redeemed one to overcome the power of sin, and to obey the Father as You have done! I could not break the power of sin. But now I see, this comes only when Your disciple yields himself entirely to be led by the Holy Spirit into the fellowship of Your cross. There You let him see how the cross has broken forever the power of sin, and has made him free. There You, the Crucified One, live in him and impart to him Your own Spirit of wholehearted self-sacrifice, in casting out and conquering sin. Oh, my Lord, teach me to understand this better. In this faith I say, “I have been crucified with Christ.” Oh, You who loved me to the death, not Your cross, but Yourself the Crucified One, You are He whom I seek and in whom I hope. Take me, Crucified One, hold me fast, and teach me from moment to moment to look upon all that is of self as condemned, and only worthy to be crucified. Take me, hold me, and teach me, from moment to moment, that in You I have all I need for a life of holiness and blessing.