As we prepare for Good Friday Listen as Shauna Wallace shares a message from her heart about…
” The Crucified Life”
By Shauna Wallace
Good Friday. I try to imagine Jesus. What He bore. The pain. The humiliation. The suffering. Are words even adequate? Is it possible to grasp the magnitude of what He willingly, in love for us and obedience to His Father, submitted to in order to pay the penalty for our sin? To save us so we might live a crucified life?
The smallest glimmer of understanding crushes me. This day, several thousand years ago, He willingly submitted to the worst man could inflict to make God’s best available to us.
He didn’t want the flogging. The spit in His face. The hateful taunting and humiliation. The nails driven cruelly in His hands and feet. The suffocation. The loneliness. The rejection of His own Father. He knew what was coming, praying: “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). He longed to be spared the cup of crucifixion to the point of sweating blood (Luke 22:43-44).
But His death was necessary.
Ours is necessary, too.
Death to self.
The crucified life.
Not my will, but His.
“Though He (Jesus) was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:8-9).
We, too, learn obedience by the things we suffer. Paul said it like this: “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” (Galatians 2:20).
What can I say today that would hold any significance in light of Jesus’ sacrifice? Nothing. My words are totally inadequate. But His aren’t. The word – the lamp unto our feet and light unto our path – illuminates the way to the crucified life.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8).
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4).
Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma (Ephesians 5:2).
…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1).
…by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body…z (Romans 8:12).
…lay down our lives for the brethren (I John 3:16).
…wives, submit to our husbands as is fitting in the Lord (Colossians 3:18).
…husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5:25).
…children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord (Colossians 3:20).
…put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, and malice (Ephesians 4:31).
…owe no one anything except to love one another (Romans 13:8).
…do good and share (Hebrews 13:16).
…judge not, condemn not (Luke 6:37).
…be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32). (Even when you’re not asked.)
…be subject to rulers and authorities, obey, and be ready for every good work (Titus 3:1)
…speak evil of no one, be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men (Titus 3:2).
…continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Hebrews 13:15).
…rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Mission impossible? Yes! For me. In my own effort or power. But with God, nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37). We can do everything through Him who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13), because His grace is sufficient for us, and His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Why the crucified life? “…That the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us…that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body…that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God… working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:7-17).
Therefore, “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:1-3).
Lord, help us live a crucified life today as we become more wholly Yours.