Lent Devotion: Jesus died that I may be alive!

 All of us want to be alive. More than that, we want to know that we are really alive, enjoying the complete joy of those who truly live.


Now listen to what Paul said in Galatians 2: 19 21: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”


We need to learn what being truly alive, means. We need to learn what really brings joy, contentment and satisfaction.

Many are convinced that to truly live, you need to be wealthy, live for the sake of pleasure,  have af successful career, improve your social standing, etc., but this sadly often results in becoming slaves of our jobs, or of greed and arrogance.


One thing that these philosophies lead to, is a relentless, desperate and anxious pursuit of things. Sadly, all the effort, even when much of this is achieved, often leads to disappointment, depression, burn out, anger, sickness and the frustration of the unfulfilled.


Christians know what it means to be alive and fulfilled. Being Christians, we have answered the question about the meaning of life, at least intellectually. We know that the meaning of life centres on Jesus Christ, our love for him and our commitment to him. But more importantly, we know the abundance when we really live as disciples of Jesus and as children of our heavenly Father.


In Galatians 2:20 we find the secret of how to really be alive. We find that only by dying, can we become alive. In order to be truly alive, we have to understand that, as people who belong to Jesus, we are truly dead to our former selves. This Scripture says, "I have been crucified with Christ." This is one of the greatest paradoxes of Scripture and the mystery of God’s Kingdom: In order to truly live, the old person that we were, needs to die.


The Bible says that the old me, with all my limitations and problems, and disastrous goals and desires, has been put to death. This Scripture says, "I have been crucified with Christ."


But how do I become truly alive?

Christians everywhere struggle with the challenge to be alive in Jesus. The struggle comes from having a sincere desire to belong to Jesus, yet realizing that we are, in our own strength, powerless to live for him.


The good news is that God does not only know about this need and struggle, but also provided for our struggle. The Lord made a plan:

If I have been “crucified with Christ”, my old self with all its limitations has been put to death. This helps our understanding of who we really are, now that we are in Christ. It releases us from the struggle to live the Christian life in our own strength.


We need to become a new person.

The way God has chosen to deal with the old person, is not to improve it, but to remove it. This is what it means to be “crucified with Christ.” We received a new identity, because we are crucified with Christ. A new person rose with Jesus from the grave when we received him as our Saviour.


The first step to truly rise to true life is to receive Jesus in faith.

The second step is to live in and for Jesus through faith in him.

And the good news is that, as God’s children, we have Christ living within us through his Spirit.


But if this is so, why do I still sin?

Even when a donkey lives its whole life in a stable with horses, it will not change into a horse. It is possible for a person to live a whole life in the Church and never become a Christian. And it is possible for a Christian to live a whole life with the knowledge of being a new creature in Christ and never enjoy the resurrection life.


If you understand what it means to be “crucified with Christ” and that you became a new person through his resurrection, you will not forget this truth. Because you received salvation, you will never be the same person again. When we in faith begin to expect the Lord to live in us and through us, our lives will change and we will desire for ourselves what God always had desired for us.


By faith in Jesus we see that by the grace of God the old self has been put to death. This is my daily inspiration to seek obedience to my Lord and make a difference in the world.

It inspires selfless prayers to discover God’s plan for my life.

It arouses a need to learn more and more about Jesus.

This is why we say with Paul "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."


May we discover this Lenten Season why Jesus died for us. And how we may live for him. And may we then be truly ready to celebrate the Eastertide!