A Voice in the
June 6, 1999
Helplessness of crucifixion -response to: June article
Amen! In Andrew Murray's book, The Master's Indwelling, he notes that one of the marks of a crucified man is helplessness: "When a man hangs on the cross, he is utterly helpless and can do nothing. As long as we Christians are strong and can work or struggle, we do not enter into the blessed life of Christ. But, when a man says, 'I am a crucified man. I am utterly helpless, every breath of life and strength must come from my Jesus,' then we learn what it is to sink into our own inability and say, 'I am nothing.' "
Resurrection of Christ more important?
Thus, Paul summarizes the "Gospel..in which [we] stand" (1Cor15:3-4)
Jesus had to die. He also had to rise from the dead. We couldn't have the resurrection without death, first, either. Like that plant that is growing; a symbol of resurrection and life. We look at the beautiful lush plant growing, and we often forget that before it was a "plant" it was a seed which "died". (1Cor15:36-37) When a seed sprouts, it first gets soft as it absorbs moisture from the dirt around it. Now, as it moistens and swells a bit, if the 'germ' inside never sprouts, the seed will then rot and be worthless. But a new plant will not grow from that seed, unless it starts what would end up being the dying/decaying process. 'Can't have one without the other. Notice, it says about Jesus, "..You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption [decay]" (Ps16:10,Acts2:27) "Four days" was considered the beginning of decay. (Jn11:17,39) But Jesus was buried only three days. Very important point!
Many people want to be "Christians" without first dying. But its impossible. If the person has not "died" ...they are NOT a true "Christian". They are a fraud. A "pretender". Jesus knows those who died -with- Him. If they didn't die, He will say in that day, "I never knew you." (Mt7:23) "I do not know you from where you are." (Lk13:25b)
But another beautiful symbolism of that seed. How long is "everlasting" life? Think of the relative insignificance and short duration of that seed...as-a-seed. When it dies, sprouts, and becomes a lush plant; the 'seed' is forgotten. And many plants live for -YEARS-. And we tend to look at these present lives [seed -1Jn3:9] of "corruption" (1Cor15:50) as being so "long" and wondrous!! What we -think- we are now? ..we will become SO MUCH MORE; the "image of the heavenly" (vs38-49) when we are "changed" (vs51).
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. for the first...had passed away. And God will wipe away all tears...there will be no more death,nor mourning..nor..any more pain; for the first things passed away." (~Rev21:1-4) "..the former troubles are forgotten..and..will not be remembered, nor come to mind." (~Is65:16-17)