Summary: Paul tells us that having received Christ as Savior, he was crucified with Christ. Can you say that? Do you understand what that means? It’s more than just saying “He died for me”. It means so much more to be crucified and risen.
Crucified & Risen with Christ
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.
When Jesus died on Calvary's Cross, He bore the entire load of your sin and took the ignominious suffering, pain, punishment, and darkness that were all part of the rightful penalty that we should have borne. He died in our place. Paul tells us that having received Christ as Savior, he was crucified with Christ. Can you say that? Do you understand what that means? It’s more than just saying “He died for me”. It means so much more.
I. Crucified with Christ
A. Crucifixion- the death Christ died
1. The Roman historian Seneca, describing the horror of crucifixion, argued that it would be better to commit suicide than endure such a tortured death. "Can anyone be found who would prefer wasting away in pain dying limb by limb, or letting out his life drop by drop, rather than expiring once for all? Can any man be found willing to be fastened to the accursed tree, long sickly, already deformed, swelling with ugly welts on shoulders and chest, and drawing the breath of life amid long-drawn-out agony? He would have many excuses for dying even before mounting the cross" (David Noel Freedman, editor-in-chief, 1992, Vol. 1, p. 1209).
2. The Bible says Jesus was beaten before He was crucified, a common prelude to the execution. The Romans often would use a whip that had lashes that were studded with either bones, iron pellets, or both. And the Romans were not limited to 40 strokes—the maximum allowed by Jewish law. In fact, it was not uncommon to beat the victim to the very brink of death. The grisly whipping left the victim with deep cuts in the back, buttocks, and legs. Blood loss would have been considerable. Many died beneath the whip. Others lost their sanity. Few remained conscious. Next came the march to the execution ground. It was in this march to Golgotha that Christ was to carry the crossbeam that would be placed a little below the top of the upright post. This crossbeam was the top timber of the cross. The crossbeam was about 5 to 6 feet long and weighed 75 to 125 pounds. Before nailing the prisoner to the cross, the executioners stripped the victim of all or nearly all his clothing. The discarded clothes became the fringe benefits of the soldiers. A Roman soldier would then have felt for the depression in the wrist, a bony area connecting the wrist to the hand. He would then have driven a heavy, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. one nail was driven through a wooden plaque and then through both heels. With the feet pinned between the post and the plaque, the victim could not pull free of the nail. The suffering of crucifixion came in many forms. Probably of least concern to any victim was the public disgrace. More immediate concerns were the pain of the nails, along with the persistence of gnats, flies, and birds the victim could not ward off. As the hours, and often days, dragged on, the victim suffered thirst, hunger, exhaustion, congestion, and difficulty in breathing. – adapted from Stephen Miller, The Horrors of Roman Crucifixion;
B. Christ went to Calvary in my stead
1. Hebrews 9:27 "It is appointed for men to die once but after this the judgment."
2. Jesus died a shameful death of a convicted criminal, put to death by execution in the most painful and shameful way man could devise in our stead.
3. Christ took our place, bore, and suffered our punishment.
4. Isaiah 53:4-5 “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
5. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
6. We should have been nailed on the cross but Jesus took our place.
C. Because of the suffering Savior’s finished work on the cross salvation is all of grace and is freely offered to all sinners.
D. Those who receive so great a salvation must demonstrate the genuineness of their faith and there acceptance of His vicarious sacrifice in identification with Him by dying with Him on the cross.
E. Mark 8:34-35 “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, ‘Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.’”