10 – WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? For me, to live is Christ

Philippians 1:21  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

In this verse the Apostle Paul pretty much sums up how he viewed life and death.  For him, dying is gain.  Dying would usher him into the presence of Jesus.  Paul didn’t fear death.  But I believe the real emphasis is on the first part of the verse – For to me, to live is Christ.  Paul realized he had to live in the nasty now.  He decided to keep his focus on Jesus – everyday.

What does it mean to live as Christ?

1.  Jesus confronted reality.  He saw the sin of humanity for what it was and for the damage it was doing to humanity.  We need to confront the reality of our true selves and ask some questions…Where am I spiritually?  What are my personal beliefs about life, God, others, the world, myself?  What are the lies that I might be buying into?  How do I view others?  Myself?  Jesus would invite us to take off the blinders, pull our heads out of the sand and see the truth about ourselves.

2.  Jesus went to the cross.  Jesus didn’t just confront reality and then leave things as they were or wish us good  luck as we deal with it on our own.  He went to the cross and dealt with he sin that was damaging humanity.  Jesus invites us to that cross.  He said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”  Jesus didn’t die on a cross so we wouldn’t have to – he died on the cross so we would join him there.  The cross wounded Jesus.  The best place to take your wounds is to the cross.  Are you willing to confront  your reality and meet Jesus at the cross and die to yourself there?

3.  Jesus was resurrected to new life.  Death to self is terribly difficult – but it is the ONLY way resurrection occurs.  Many people want a “resurrected” life but they aren’t willing to die to have it.  The cross wounded Jesus but his resurrection healed his wounds.  They were now scars (i.e. his appearance the disciple Thomas).   Scars are wounds that have been healed.  That healing can only take place through death and resurrection.  The same Jesus that invites us to die with him at the cross promises us that, if we do, resurrection to new life awaits.

Far too many of us carry wounds, hurts, baggage, issues, etc. that can be laid down at the cross and left there.  Jesus is at the cross inviting us to die with him so we can experience the resurrected and abundant life he promised.

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