Christ Jesus — our identity

JESUS Christ is an example of us. In revealing God, He revealed us. In His finished work, that’s who we are, in our saved state and nature. Jesus Christ is what the Bible is all about, and we’re what Jesus is all about. His substitutionary work has placed us in Him, seated in the heavenlies on the right hand (place of honour and authority) of God the Father. His atonement means we’re at one with our Father in Christ.

devotion column: Erasmus Makarimayi

God’s incarnation in Jesus deleted every definition of distance and every possible excuse mankind could have to feel separated or even neglected by God was removed in one day, through one sacrifice, once and for all.

As believers, we can boldly say that we were crucified, died, buried and rose with Christ and we’re alive in Him. Let’s break this down. When He died on the cross, He and I went to the place where I should have gone alone. He went with me as my Substitute, meaning that He went with me to suffer in my stead.

Jesus was bearing my sin with me, that old spiritually dead-self. He suffered there until the claims of justice against me had been satisfied and there was no longer any charge against me.

My spiritual death and union with Satan were totally wiped out. Colossians 2:15 (NKJV), records: “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” We have failed to recognise this blessed fact, that in the substitutionary work of Christ, it was as though we, ourselves, were with Him.

Hear what the Spirit says in Galatians 2:20a. The Amplified Bible reads: “I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]…” It is in the past tense. That’s the legal side. He was not only crucified. He died.

Romans 6:8, (NKJV), states: “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” Not only were we crucified with Him, but we died with Him. Furthermore, we were buried with Him. Colossians 2:12 testifies, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” He’s our substitute and identity. The Bible is the mirror, reflecting Christ in us and us in Him.

We were justified with Him. Romans 3:24 tells us: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” We’re now alive in Him. Colossians 2:13, (Amplified), explains: “And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions,” The story goes further.

Ephesians 2:6 points: “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” In these Scriptures, we get a living picture of the entire substitutionary work of Christ, in which we have a perfect identification. It was done for us.

That’s the legal background of our redemption. You can say, yes, I was crucified with Him. I was identified with Him in His shame and His deep agonies on the cross.

More than that, God not only put my sin upon Jesus and made Him sin with my sin, but God put me upon Jesus. Jesus was taking my place. He was acting in my stead. It was my sin that stripped Him naked.

I know that it was my sin that caused the crown of thorns to be put upon His brow. It was my sin that drove the nails into His hands and feet.

We know that it was love that was taking my place and suffering in my stead, that I might be ransomed out of the authority of darkness and the power of sin and spiritual death.

I can say, I died with Him; that when He died on the cross He partook of my spiritual death, and I was identified with Him in that spiritual death.

It was as though I had been there in person and we had left His body together. He was justified in Spirit. His justification was for me. He went there for me; He didn’t go there on His own account. It’s evident that He went on my account, and as soon as He was justified, He was recreated, that is, made alive in spirit. Let’s digest and I will pick it up from here in the next instalment.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.

Feedback: pastor@newgatechapel.org Fellowship with Pastor Makarimayi on Facebook and on www.twitter.com/PEMAKARIMAYI.

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