In Christ

by | Apr 2, 2024

     What does it mean that I am “in Christ?” It was always a confusing expression to me. I tried to picture myself sort of small-sized, inside a glowing Jesus. But several good teachers, including my Dad, explained it like this: When God the Father looks at you, He sees the record of His perfect Son Jesus as if it had been your life. “…when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death…” (Romans 6:3) In God’s record, I died that day:

     They accuse me and insult me. And though I have sinned countless times in countless ways, I don’t feel the bruising words or the shame of my terrible record. I am in Christ, who is the Perfect Sacrifice. The blame lands on him.

     They spit on me, but I don’t feel the wetness. They punch and slap my face, but it doesn’t hurt. I am in Christ. He feels it all.

     They tie me up. They rear back and bring whips down on my back with so much force, bruises instantly appear under my skin, my flesh is ripped open, and blood flies and runs everywhere. I can see it out of the corner of my eye, but I feel nothing. I am in Christ. He feels it all. I hear screams of agony, but they are not mine. My stomach churns but does not hurt. He feels it all.

     They circle around me and block my escape but I don’t feel fear. They shove a crown of long thorns onto my head, but I don’t feel the sting or the ache. They put a robe on my open wounds, mocking me as royalty. They smash a stick onto the thorns and drive them into my skin; but the blood that runs down my face is not my own. I am in Christ. He feels it all.

     They drop a heavy wooden beam on my open back, but I don’t feel the weight or the burn. I am in Christ. He feels it all.

     They force me along the road, my legs struggling to move. I see the hill ahead. I smell torture and death. But the dread of it is gone. I am in Christ. He feels it all.

     They throw me down on the cross, tying me to it. They hold a metal spike to my skin. My hands are shaking. The hammer rises into the sun, crashing down onto the spike. It splits me open, through skin, nerves, veins, and out the other side. Jesus is screaming. I am in Christ. He feels it all.

     The other hand. Both my feet. They raise the cross upright and shove it down in a hole. My joints dislocate. Blood is running down everywhere. I am silent and sad, but I feel no pain. I am in Christ. He feels it all.

     The full weight of my body hangs from the spikes in my hands and feet. The full weight of all my guilt, all my sin and shame, presses down even harder. Breath is nearly impossible to find. I am in Christ. He feels it all.

    God the Father turns away from my sin. Separation. I can’t even begin to imagine this pain, more than all the other pain combined. But I am in Christ, who is One with Father, and he feels it all.

     They shove a sponge of sour wine to my dry mouth, where all the cuts and bruises are open and raw. I am in Christ. He feels it all.

     With a shout, He died. I died with Him, and all my sin went to the grave, forever. Gone. Whatever He endured in death, He took every bit of God’s wrath for me, and when He rose from the dead, I rose, too. When Christ Jesus went back to heaven, and sat down in triumph, I went with Him: 

     “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6-7)

     How can I ever thank Him enough? Jesus, we love you and remember what you suffered for us. By God’s record, we are already sitting with you in heaven; but someday, we’re really going to hold you and thank you face to face! We can hardly wait. Keep our eyes fixed on you.

Recent Posts.

Less Static, More Grace

Less Static, More Grace

Recently, one of my kids went on a mission trip and was trying to give me a call to check in. Since this was the first time she had ever really been away for a significant amount of time “on her own,” I was obviously thrilled to speak with her. There was just one...

read more
Decluttering Everything

Decluttering Everything

Life these days often seems so cluttered. Our days may be filled with a multitude of activities, or our shelves filled with dozens of small “just in case” items. However, it is important to ask ourselves if all these things are really worth it. For, “Do not lay up for...

read more
How Not to Make a Pizza

How Not to Make a Pizza

It’s pizza night! Generally speaking, it’s considered normal to first stretch the pizza dough, then place it on an oiled pan. Usually sauce, followed by cheese, is mounted on top, and various delectable toppings are added. One typically follows this procedure with a...

read more