“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”.
Gal 2:20 NIV
The secret of living the Christian life is to know that Christ lives in you, no matter what your circumstances might be. It is more than “being good”. It is not escapism. It is living in all the hardships, problems, stresses, strains, inhospitable outward conditions and demands – with Christ as your companion, guide, friend and Lord. It is true that you may experience moments of “glory”, but those are fleeting. Reality is hard, but Jesus wants you to live in the real world. He lived there himself, facing opposition, misunderstanding, sometimes disloyalty and death. He calls you to take up your cross and follow him.
“The clue to surviving the difficult days, which will in Mark’s gospel be seen to be the secret of all the life of the disciple, is to follow in the steps of Jesus himself. The way he took for our salvation was death and resurrection. He went the way of the cross. God raised him from the dead. So we are called to take up our cross and follow him day by day, in faith that day by day God will raise us to new life in Christ (Romans 8:9-11). As we die to all to which he died, we shall live to all to which he rose (D. English, The Message of Mark, p210).
Prayer and meditation is undoubtedly the secret of remaining “in Christ”. Communicating with Christ means you think about him – and grow more into him all the while.
Lord, help me to be “crucified with Christ”.