Gospel Meditations: My Crucifixion with Christ

6 07 2015

image“The gospel is not simply the story of ‘Christ, and Him crucified’; it is also the story of my own crucifixion. For the Bible tells me that I, too, was crucified on Christ’s cross (Gal. 2:20). My old self was slain there (Rom. 6:6), and my love affair with the world was crucified there too (Gal. 6:14). The cross is also the place where I crucify my flesh and all its sinful desires (Gal. 5:24). Truly, Christ’s death and my death are so intertwined as to be inseparable.” (Vincent, Milton. A Gospel Primer for Christians, pg. 40).

I remember the day well. It was a Sunday evening in January 1991. I had taken my post faithfully in the Publix Supermarkets Data Processing Distribution Center where I was making a living running printers and distributing reports to programmers. On the outside it seemed like just another normal day in my life. I was 19 years old. I was in love with my High School sweetheart and later to be wife, Robin. I had a good job. I was attending community college with an eye toward my future. It seemed that all was set for my life moving forward.

There was only one major problem in my life that day: I was dead inside. While everything on the outside said I was a normal 19 year old in America, on the inside I was teeming with an unsettled heart and a spirit that unbeknownst to me was being stirred by a much higher power. Truth be told, I couldn’t stand who I was. In my heart there was a pool of bitterness toward others. My mind was filled with lust. My mouth was a fountain of filth that sprang forth from my heart at the smallest frustrations. I was completely unsettled and unhappy and joyless. That evening while I was at work there lay on the counter top a book by L. Ron Hubbard called, Dianetics. I was searching. I was attempting to reform myself. I was longing for me to be different. In that moment of my life I hoped that my answers were in that book. I planned to read it and get those answers and begin to change myself. 

Little did I know that day that true life was about to come to me in a much different way than I anticipated. I started the day dead inside, but by the time I would go to sleep that night I was cruciified with Christ (Galatians2:20). By that night I was no longer the one living, but Christ was living in me. My crucifixion didn’t occur by reading Dianetics. No, it happened by hearing and receiving. At this point I can hear, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭4-10‬ ESV) In a moment on that day Christ intervened in my life. Instead of reading that book I turned on the radio and put on a Christian radio station, which I don’t really remember ever doing before in my life. That night I heard how Christ was sinless and yet died a sinners death that I, the sinner deserved, but He did not. I heard how He died and was buried and then on the third day rose from the grave to conquer sin and death, my two greatest enemies. That night I confessed my sin to God and turned to Christ as my Savior and simply received Him and His free gift of salvation through faith in Him.

That was the day of my crucifixion, the day my old life ended and God created in me new life, abundant life. Since that day I’ve never been the same.

“I once was lost but now I’m found, I once was blind but now I see.” I once was a sinner but now a saint, not because I’m sinless because I ain’t, but because He died for a wretch like me, and the day I received Him He set me free. To Him be the glory both now and forever, by His power I’ll live as His eternal treasure.


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