“Two Crucifixions”

Two of the most stressful events that could ever happen can result in two of the most joyous outcomes imaginable. The first crucifixion, of course, was that of Jesus Christ the creator and sustainer of all things (Col 1:16-17).  All the fullness of the Godhead dwelled in Him (v19).  And yet, He was also the innocent lamb of God who sacrificed Himself for mankind in an agonizingly torturous ordeal on a Roman cross.  All that after being beaten, whipped, spat upon, mocked, humiliated, made to wear a crown of thorns and lied about repeatedly during a sham trial.

He also had to bear the severe emotional pain of rejection and betrayal while maintaining His composure instead of avenging Himself for all the injustice that was being heaped upon Him.  In what is seemingly one of the most incongruous verses in the whole Bible, we discover that Jesus actually endured the cross and scorned its shame because of the joy of then sitting down at the right hand of His Father’s throne forever (Heb 12:2). That and providing an example for all His followers thereafter.

But what about the second crucifixion?  Although it can in no way compare to the first one, it none the less has its own joyous conclusion. We are speaking of a Christian’s being crucified with Christ during immersion (Rom 6:3-6). Our old sinful self is said to be crucified with Christ so that the old body of sin can be done away with. We become united with Jesus as we join Him in a symbolic death. We are then united with Him in His resurrection so that “we too may live a new life.”  Death and sin no longer have mastery over us.  Thus we have become “slaves to righteousness.” (Rom 6:18)

Whatever pain this crucifixion held is quickly swallowed up in joy and anticipation. We have a whole New Testament of promises.  The Holy Spirit lives within us (Jo 14:16-17). The freedom to ask Jesus for whatever we want (Jo 15:7) if it is according to His will.  The promise of Jesus preparing a heavenly place for us and being there with us (Jo 14:3). Happiness now, and bliss then!

–Jim Bailey