CRUCIFIXION: A Very Painful Death

What is the old man, and in what sense does the old man die?  Why does he describe the death of the old man as a crucifixion?  In whatever sense we understand it, the death of the old man is very painful.  In New Testament times the cross was always death, not mere suffering without death.  Crucifixion was never an easy death.  Jesus said “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24).  Many want to enter heaven but not many are willing to endure a crucifixion.  Crucifixion is a very “strait” gate.  If we do not “strive to enter in at the strait gate,” we will not be able to enter the path that leads to life.  Jesus teaches in many other ways that entering the pathway is not a simple thing.  For example, he says, “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” (Mark 8:35).  The Lord compares the old and the new man in several different ways.  There must be a conscious decision to crucify the old man so the new man can be born.  This decision is described as a crucifixion.

The Old Man

The New Man
Saves his life

Mark 8:35

Loses his life for Christ and the gospel
Keeps all that he has

Luke 14:33

Forsakes all that he has
Under the power of darkness

Col. 1:13

Translated into the kingdom of Christ
Lives for self

2 Cor. 5:15

Lives only for Christ
Does what he wants to do

Luke 9:23

Denies himself

        Even making the decision to lose one’s life is a very painful thing. Again, he said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). The decision to deny oneself is also very painful.  Similarly, the decision to forsake all but one has is quite painful, but Jesus said, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). Does this forsaking all that one has relate to no longer living for oneself? (2 Cor. 5:15)?  The reason that Jesus died is so that we would no longer lives as we desire to live. “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).  Making the decision that we will no longer live for ourselves but will only live for Christ, is not an easy decision. Jesus purchases God’s children with his blood (Acts 20:28). He says “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:20). “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men” (1 Cor. 7:23). Have we consciously made a decision that we will sell ourselves to Christ, so that he purchases us?  What does it mean that we have been purchased?  If Jesus is our new owner, then we no longer belong to ourselves for Jesus has purchased us.  If we no longer belong to ourselves we can understand why we should no longer live for ourselves.  Crucifixion of the old man is losing one’s life, no longer living for self, been willing to be purchased, and been willing to live only for Christ.  Is it possible for a soul to be buried with Christ before the old man is crucified and fully dead? The soul may be immersed in the water, but he cannot be buried with Christ in the waters of baptism until he has been crucified and is dead.

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