THE BEST WAY TO DIE
Take yet another look at the cross–the best way for Jesus to die, and the best way for you to die–and to go on dying, as Galatians 5:24 shows: “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
The Holy Spirit creates a willing obligation in us which follows our justification. It too is gift. Do we have a hard time accepting this gift? “He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15). “Our old man was crucified with Him . . . that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Rom. 6:6).
Out in timber country years ago, loggers used the chute from the splash dam up above as a fun lunch-break ride on shovels down to the river below.
All went well for one man until his foot got caught near the end of a ride–wedged firmly between two thick slabs of timber that were used to construct the chute. Try as he might, he could not dislodge his foot. The whistle blew up above, and logs started coming down the chute again.
The man had his ax strapped over his shoulder. With seconds to spare, he chopped off the offending foot and fell free.
Matthew 18 says: “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.” Jesus is talking about spiritual surgery here, as did Paul up there in the introductory paragraph.
Or as in Colossians 3: “Set your minds on things above . . . For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ . . . appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth . . put off all these.”
We who live here “are always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.”
It has been said that when we arrive in heaven we shall recognize Jesus by His death wounds. It seems fair to say that Jesus will recognize us by–among other things–the scars incurred by our constant dying, in Him.
–Pastor Warren Fanning