Day 23 – The Dying of the Lord Jesus

“Always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body.” “So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” –2_Corinthians 4:10,12.

Paul here is very bold in speaking of the intimate union that there was between Christ living in him and the life he lived in the flesh, with all its suffering. He had spoken (Galatians 2:20) of his being crucified with Christ, and Christ living in him. Here he tells how he was always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus; it was through that that the life also of Jesus was manifested in his body. And he says that it was because of the death of Christ was thus working in and through him that Christ’s life could work in them.

We often speak of our abiding in Christ. But we forget that that means the abiding in a crucified Christ. Many believers appear to think that when once they have claimed Christ’s death in the fellowship of the cross, and have counted themselves as crucified with Him, that they may now consider it as past and done with. They do not understand that it is in the crucified Christ, and in the fellowship of His death, that they are to abide daily and unceasingly. The fellowship of the cross is to be the life of a daily experience, the self-emptying of our Lord, His taking the form of a servant, His humbling Himself and becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross — this mind that was in Christ is to be the disposition that marks our daily life.

“Always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus.” This is what we are called to as much as Paul. If we are indeed to live for the welfare of men around us, if we are to sacrifice our ease and pleasure to win souls for our Lord, it must be true of us, as of Paul, that we are able to say: Death worketh in us, but life in those for whom we pray and labor. For it is in the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ that the crucified Lord can live out and work out His life in us and through us.

Let us learn the lesson that the abiding in Christ Jesus, for which we have so often prayed and striven, is nothing less than the abiding of the Crucified in us, and we in Him.