To live is Christ. We live from the indwelling life of Christ. But, as we learned yesterday, we cannot separate the eternal zoe giving Christ from the human Jesus.
The key to living by the indwelling life of Christ, is to apply the truths of Jesus’ life (Incarnation, Perfect Life and Suffering, Death, Resurrection, Glorification) to our lives; to see our lives unified to and abiding in his historic life. We’ve got to keep going back to these truths or we won’t make any progress in the Christian life. It will be a “Christian life” without Christ, based rather upon a system of self salvation.
Incarnation was Jesus’ first substitutionary act. He took our place in humanity. He came in the flesh to represent us in the flesh, and to fulfill every requirement of righteousness.
Romans 8:3-4. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, God condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us
God became man. Jesus stepped down from the privileges of heaven and humbled himself so He could be known by us and know us. He understands us and sympathizes with us. Jesus came to make us truly alive, truly human. The incarnation tells us that when we can’t understand life, we know that God understands us.
God understands our problems. He has been tempted just like us. He has felt pain, agony, rejection, heart break, loss, hunger, sorrow, joy, relief, anger, love. Jesus was willing to go to great lengths for this love he has for us.
“To live is Christ” means we live an incarnated life. We enter into life with others. We support them, care for them, bear burdens with them, and walk with them. In short, we empathize with others. We feel what they feel. We see as they see. We enter into their pains and their joys.
Joseph incarnated into the life of the Egyptians, Moses incarnated into the life of the Hebrews, Daniel incarnated into the life of Nebuchadnezzar, and Jesus incarnated into the life of us humans. Each of these examples chose to connect their lives to the lives of others- even others who didn’t accept them at first or who were just plain enemies. This is what the indwelling life of the incarnated Christ allows us to do.
But this first step for Jesus will actually be the last step for us. We cannot begin to understand Jesus’ substitutionary act of incarnation, until we first understand his substitutionary act of Life, Death, Resurrection, and Glorification. These will give us the power to incarnate into the lives of others.
And this one has nothing to do with Jesus, but it just kind of made me feel thoughtful.