I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. — GALATIANS 2:20
Have you ever reached the end of the Easter season only to realize that even though you celebrated the resurrection and empty tomb of Jesus, you never took time to remember Jesus on the cross? In a sense, it’s as if you just skipped right over Good Friday.
It’s easy to get caught up in the joy and the celebration of the resurrection (and we should celebrate), but fail to remember the resurrection was only possible because of Jesus’ death on the cross.
Dwelling on the cross gives meaning to the empty tomb. Not only that, but the crucifixion gives us an example to follow.
In Galatians, Paul writes of what it is to model our lives after this example. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” - Galatians 2:20
Paul knew a life lived for Christ required the death of a sinful self. We too have this same calling. But how exactly are we to live this crucified life?
Die to Self
If you’ve ever questioned how selfish we are, spend a few hours with a toddler. Often, the word “mine” makes up the majority of their vocabulary. When we choose to follow Christ, we are choosing to set aside this “me/mine” mentality and put on an eternal perspective.
When Paul said he was “crucified with Christ”, he acknowledged his life was no longer his own. This isn’t easy or painless, but it’s always worth it.
Live by Faith
God alone gives us new life in Him and this new life is Spirit-led. As we choose to obey and follow the Spirit’s promptings in our life, He paves the way to live by faith. This means the things we do, say, and think reflects our trust in the Lord.
Practically, living by faith looks like:
Give for the Sake of Others
Finally, we see a crucified life encourages, gives, and pours out on those around us. Christ literally “gave Himself for me.” This is the ultimate display of love. As we seek to imitate Christ, we too give of ourselves for the sake of others.
This isn’t always big, elaborate acts. This display of love can be as small as taking a meal to someone in need or offering to pray for a friend who’s struggling.
Don’t skip Good Friday. While the crucifixion is hard for us to even think of or fathom, Christ’s act of love on the cross paved the way for the life we now have in Him.
Think and Pray
By taking time to examine Jesus on the cross this season, your celebration of the resurrection will be richer, more meaningful, and filled with gratitude. Are you living a crucified life?
Jesus, thank You for willingly giving Your life for me, for being faithful for forgive my sins and cleanse my heart, and for giving Your Spirit to guide and comfort me in this life. As I reflect on all that You’ve done for me, give me a heart to do the same for others, that they might know You as Savior and friend. Amen.
Samantha Decker is a book lover, coffee-connoisseur, wife, mom of boys, writer, and above all, a follower of Jesus. She and her husband, Dustin, live in Oklahoma City and serve at Quail Springs Baptist Church. You can connect with Samantha on Instagram or through her newsletter at samanthadeckerwrites.com.