Thursday, August 8, 2013

He Gives Himself First

With Christ I am nailed to the cross. It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Galatians 2:19-20).

This is Christian life.

What can I add to this? I have been dwelling on this text recently. What happened on the Cross? He intervened, definitively, in my life. He did something completely new, so new that it changes who I am. He identified Himself with me, to the point of even taking on my sins, from which He sets me free in the mystery of His love.

He loved me and gave Himself up for me. We should read these words every day. He loved me and gave Himself up for me. What is this "me" that He loves so much? Weakness. Selfishness. But then He takes hold of my life at its roots. Where I am helpless He comes with the love and the gift of Himself, He the Son of God. He claims my life, in order to become the source of something new.

He asks me to let Him embrace me and become a source of new life--a life that is beyond the selfish prison of an "I" that struggles to find meaning in itself, alone. He breaks down the wall that separates me from the God that He is, the God that my "I" was created to live "for"--and this living for Him means that my self is opened up to Him. I am no longer alone. He lives in me.

How can this be? What does it mean? I live in the faith of the Son of God. I live a vital, obedient faith, full of hope, love, and trust because He has loved me.

He has found me, He has given Himself to me, He has made it possible for me to recognize Him and live for Him. The Christian "I" lives in a relationship of self-abandonment to Jesus Christ, a relationship made possible because He gives Himself first.

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