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When Christ was Crucified – Were You

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When Christ was Crucified

Paul Says Christ Crucified Me too!

Galatians 2:20

Do you realize that this weekend is far more than just a holiday?

Each of us in Christ this evening have a stake in this week’s events that exceeds anyone else’s in the world (those who are apart from Christ). What exactly am I talking about? This is the week we can most reflect upon the reality that we actually died with Christ two thousand years ago.

For the rest of our lives we are to be seeking to know more completely and more deeply all that God did in that six hour period of time when Christ was crucified, and we were with Him by the grace of God.

No verse more clearly summarizes what Jesus has done than Paul’s testimony in Galatians 2:20. No verse more clearly frames what each of us should declare at this sacred moment than Paul’s words that we can affirm for ourselves tonight.

Now using a short lesson in the grammar of the Bible, on this night we have gathered to remember the cross of Christ we need to remember it not merely as a distant historical fact—no, we must see it as an event that we were a part of, personally and directly and powerfully.

To focus our hearts upon Christ, open to Galatians 2:20 with me this evening.

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ;

 it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;

and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,

who loved me and gave Himself for me. NKJV

“I have been crucified with” is actually one word in the original text of the New Testament; and it is the verb around which this verse is built. This verb known by Greek scholars as word # 4957, and is sustauroo a verbfound five times in the New Testament; and which literally means ‘to crucify alone with’. To better understand this verb we must notice it’s three inspired grammatical parts. When you classify a Greek verb you state the tense, the voice, and the mood. Sustauroo translated “I have been crucified with” is a perfect tense, passive voice, indicative mood verb.

  • The perfect tense in Greek describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated. We all know one very famous usage of the perfect tense. Christ’s last cry from the cross, TETELESTAI (“It is finished!”) is a good example of the perfect tense used in this sense, namely “It [the atonement] has been accomplished, completely, once and for all time.” So here in Galatians 2:20 Paul uses the perfect tense to first say, “I have been crucified alone with Christ”.
  • The passive voice represents the subject as being the recipient of the action. That adds to the meaning as Paul using the passive voice says “someone else crucified me, I didn’t do it myself”.
  • The indicative mood is a simple statement of fact.  If an action really occurs or has occurred or will occur, it will be rendered in the indicative mood. Finally, Paul’s use of the indicative mood adds the meaning that “this really happened to me, it is not hypothetical or fanciful thing—it is a fact”.

So if we use all the truth of the grammar taken together, Paul says, “What I am telling you is a fact (indicative mood), I have actually already been crucified by God with Jesus Christ (perfect tense); God crucified me and I didn’t do it myself; it happened and was completed in the past, once and for all, and never needs repeating…(passive voice)

So, when Paul says Christ was crucified, he says that Christ crucified him also. And if you understand the doctrine of our union with Christ from God’s Word that means that every single one of us tonight were also crucified that day with Jesus Christ.

We need to believe and grow by faith to understand that Christ’s crucifixion was mine also!

In an incredible way that only God can accomplish and explain—each of us here tonight who are believers—died at the same time as Jesus almost 2,000 years ago. We have already died once in a real, spiritually powerful way in Christ on His Cross we celebrate tonight.

Though all of us may look quite alive, the truth is that on this day, 20 centuries ago, we were hanging on the Cross with Jesus Christ. When He died, we died.

And after His death when two loving men took down His body and buried it in a borrowed Tomb, we were also buried with Christ. When He died—we died; when He was buried—we were buried.

And when He walked out of that Tomb early Sunday morning—each of us also walked out with Him! When He died—we died; when He was buried—we were buried; and when He rose—we rose.

That truth should course through the heart and mind of every believer in Christ. That is why this week is the most special week in the entire world for all of us in Christ. That is why we are to spend this week pondering Christ and His Cross, remembering His death for us, His burial for us, and His Resurrection for us. He is our life, our hope, and our salvation.

To help us remember these truths Paul wrote to the church that as often as they gathered to eat the bread of communion and drink the cup they were all to ‘declare Christ’ (I Corinthians 11:23-26). I would like to give you just one way that we as believers can do that tonight.

Now look again in your Bibles at Galatians 2:20. I know it is an old and over-familiar verse. I have seen so many people quote this verse without ever being stunned by the implications of what it says. Galatians 2:20 is a short version of Romans 6:1-11. Those words of Galatians 2:20 compress the entire truth of Christ’s justifying death and my identification with Him in all that He accomplished into one clear statement.

Please stand with me, look down at your Bibles with me and notice than in all four of the main versions we use here at TBC, the same four phrases are clear.

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ;

 it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;

and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,

who loved me and gave Himself for me. NKJV

So now, in your own version that you hold, read each of those four phrases and as you do so, pause after each one and in your heart—ask the Lord to teach you by His Spirit to understand just what He has done to you as stated by Him in this verse. We need to live out life as crucified each day. Here we go: read a phrase, pause for a few seconds and breath a prayer, read the next, pause and pray, and so on. Then remain standing and I will pray to close our time.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me, and gave himself for me. KJV

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ;

and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;

and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,

who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. NASB

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ

and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.

The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,

who loved me and gave himself for me. NIV

Pray

Good Friday is a day that for hundreds of years the church has celebrated one event—Christ’s crucifixion.

This evening we have gathered on Good Friday to celebrate Christ’s crucifixion using the exact means God chose for us to do so—the Lord’s Supper.

Communion is the ongoing ordinance that Christ’s church is to use to remember His death on the Cross. At communion we are to declare what Christ’s cross has done for us. Every time we celebrate communion we are to declare Him.

“I am crucified with Christ…”

  • This is a perfect, passive, indicative. It means “What I am telling you is a fact, I have actually already been crucified by God with Jesus Christ; God crucified me and I didn’t do it myself; it happened and was completed in the past, once and for all, and never needs repeating…”
  • All my sins past, present, and future were placed upon Him back then two thousand years ago on the Cross of Calvary.

“Jesus died in my place and also I died with Him. So by Christ’s death and mine with Him I have died to sin. If a drunk dies, he can no longer be tempted by alcohol because his body is dead to all physical senses. He cannot see the alcohol, smell it, taste it, or desire it.

In Jesus Christ we have died to sin so that we no longer want to “continue in sin.” But we are not only dead to sin; we are also alive in Christ. We have been raised from the dead and now walk in the power of His resurrection. We walk in “newness of life” because we share His life”. [1]

“…nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…”

  • Christ’s life is what I am to now live, not my own.
  • Christ’s strength is what I now draw upon not my own.

Sin wants to be our master. It finds a foothold in our old nature, and through the old nature sin always seeks to control the members of our bodies. But in Jesus Christ, we died to sin; and the old nature was crucified so that the old life is rendered inoperative.

Paul was not describing an experience we should try to emulate or strive for; he was stating a fact. The practical experience comes as we yield to Christ’s control. It is a fact of history that Jesus Christ died on the cross. It is also a fact of history that the believer died with Him[2].

“…and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God…”

What kind of life is this? It is a life of faith—saved by faith, live by faith, walk by faith. This is what it means to walk in the Spirit.

“Paul didn’t tell his readers to feel as if they were dead to sin, or even to understand it fully, but to act on God’s Word and claim it for themselves.

Reckoning is a matter of faith that issues in action. It is like endorsing a check: if we really believe that the money is in the checking account, we will sign our name and collect the money. Reckoning is not claiming a promise, but acting on a fact.

God does not command us to become dead to sin. He tells us that we are dead to sin and alive unto God, and then commands us to act on it. Even if we do not act on it, the facts are still true”. [3]

Romans 3:21–5:21 Galatians 1:4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, Romans 6–8 Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Substitution: He died for me Identification: I died with Him
He died for my sins He died unto sin
He paid sin’s penalty He broke sin’s power
Justification: righteousness Sanctification: righteousness
imputed (put to my account) imparted (made a part of my life)
Saved by His death Saved by His life

“…who loved me, and gave himself for me…” (KJV)

Christ loved me, but He could not love me into heaven. He had to give Himself for me.

We need to believe and grow by faith to understand that Christ’s crucifixion was mine also!

In an incredible way that only God can accomplish and explain—each of us here tonight who are believers—died at the same time as Jesus almost 2,000 years ago. We have already died once in a real, spiritually powerful way in Christ on His Cross we celebrate tonight.

Though all of us may look quite alive, the truth is that on this day, 20 centuries ago, we were hanging on the Cross with Jesus Christ. When He died, we died.

And after His death when two loving men took down His body and buried it in a borrowed Tomb, we were also buried with Christ. When He died—we died; when He was buried—we were buried.

And when He walked out of that Tomb early Sunday morning—each of us also walked out with Him! When He died—we died; when He was buried—we were buried; and when He rose—we rose.

That truth should course through the heart and mind of every believer in Christ.

That is why this week is the most special week in the entire world for all of us in Christ.

That is why we are to spend this week pondering Christ and His Cross, remembering His death for us, His burial for us, and His Resurrection for us.

Tonight as you celebrate communion celebrate Christ as your life, Christ as your hope, and Christ as your salvation.
Redemption is a word that speaks of debts being paid, freedom being purchased and a life going in a completely new direction from the point of redemption onward.

We need to experience what the Scriptures often declare—God has liberated us from our slavery to sin, broken sins chains that long had enslaved us and freed us to focus our lives on what really matters to Him.

  • Romans 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”. Because I’m redeemed—Jesus destroyed the records of my sins and took my punishment.
  • Colossians 2:13-14 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Because I’m redeemed—my sin debt is forever paid in full.
  • Revelation 5:9-12 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;  And we shall reign on the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,12 saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” Because I’m redeemed—I will worship the Lord forever!

In Forgiveness we go from hopelessly offending God stained by sin to the peace of complete forgiveness.  

We need to experience what the Scriptures often declare—God is a God who offers His children complete forgiveness. Trace with me again those life giving words in your hearts as I read them to you.

Then repeat the truth of what God has done!

  • “… as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us”. (Psalm 103:12).  God said all my sins are gone. Say that aloud with me.
  • “ Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “ Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow;  Though they are red like crimson,  They shall be as wool..” (Is. 1:18). I am white as snow in God’s sight. Say that aloud with me.
  •  “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34b). God has forgotten all my sins. Say that aloud with me.
  • “She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11). “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1). Jesus will never condemn me for my sins. Say that aloud with me.

In Justification we go from being accused and guilty before God to being righteous and with no record of wrongs!

We need to experience what the Scriptures often declare—God has once and for all through Christ’s sacrifice justified us. That means that He has accused us, declared us guilty of sin and then made us righteous and forever deleted the record of all our wrongs.

  • Romans 8:33-34 “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” I have been justified and by Christ justifying me and because the record has been erased —I am free forever from condemnation. Say that aloud with me
  • 1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” By Christ justifying me—I am forever united with the Lord. Say that aloud with me
  • Ephesians 1:4 “… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love”. By Christ justifying me—I was chosen by Jesus to be holy and blameless in his sight. Say that aloud with me
  • Ephesians 2:6 “…and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. By Christ justifying me—I am already seated  with Christ in Heaven. Say that aloud with me
  • Ephesians 3:12 “… in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him”. By Christ justifying me—I can always approach God with confidence. Say that aloud with me
  • Colossians 3:3 “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God”. By Christ justifying me—I am safely hidden with Christ in God. Say that aloud with me

In Regeneration we go from spiritual deadness, and uninhabitable for God to life in His Spirit overflowing with His Presence.

We need to experience what the Scriptures often declare—God Himself has regenerated us. That means that He has sought us out in our dead and decaying condition, breathed eternal life into us, and brought us into His family by the new birth. Then He comes to live within us so we are forever having an abundant and overflowing, eternal life.

Regeneration transforms us in so many ways. We instantly become:

  • John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a Child of God.  Say that aloud with me
  • Romans 8:2, 9 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a Free From All SLAVERY. Say that aloud with me
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a Temple of God. Say that aloud with me
  • 1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a member of Christ’s Body. Say that aloud with me
  • 2 Corinthians 1:21 “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am anointed and sealed by God. Say that aloud with me
  • Ephesians 2:1, 10 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a Divine work. Say that aloud with me

You have heard of a piece of art being an original “masterpiece” or actually painted or made by a master like Michelangelo or Da Vinci. Well—we who believe are God’s Word masterpieces; we are even signed by the Author Himself!

  • Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Say that aloud with me
  • Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a Citizens of Heaven. Say that aloud with me
  • Colossians 2:10 “…and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am complete in Christ. Say that aloud with me
  • Titus 3:5 “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” Because Jesus regenerated me—I am washed, given a fresh start, and new beginning. Say that aloud with me
  • 1 John 5:18 “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me. Say that aloud with me

[1]  Wiersbe, Warren W., The Bible Exposition Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) 1997.

[2]  Adapted from Wiersbe, Warren W., The Bible Exposition Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) 1997.

[3]  Wiersbe, Warren W., The Bible Exposition Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) 1997.

 
 
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