“When you were dead in your sins … God made you alive with Christ…” Colossians 2:13 (NIV)
There are some beautiful word pictures in this week’s passage (Colossians 2:6-23)(Week 4 of Complete in Christ). But, the one that stood out to me most was Paul’s contrast between death and life. Could there be anything more opposite? If rating oppositeness was a thing. I think there’s nothing more distinct than the separation between being dead or being alive.
The finality of death. The freedom and potential of life.
The false teachers in Colossae are going on about rituals and asceticism, which at face value seem to promote spirituality, but in the end, only promote themselves and their self-reliance. Paul’s message to the Colossians is that a rules-based religion isn’t the road that leads to life.
The only one with the power to bring the dead to life, is Jesus.
He took our record of debt. He paid it by his blood. His death, gives us life.
The picture in my head is the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion. In a traditional crucifixion, the Romans would list the debt or crime of the criminal being crucified and nail it to the cross. So the world could see and be warned of what can happen to you if you break the law.
Be warned, world. If you break these rules, you could be next.
Now, I see Jesus. Soldiers are lifting up his cross to be dropped into the ground. And above his head is the list of his crimes. But, it’s not his crime — it’s mine. My name. My sin.
It is finished.
“His dying breath has brought me life,” just like that great worship song says. The debt is canceled. Jesus died for Jenni and because of his blood, she lives.
Why do we listen to any voice outside of the simple truth of Jesus, and convince ourselves there are “other” requirements? Extra credit can’t raise the dead.
My activities, my good works, my sacrifices for others – these are all good things. But, they don’t fill my lungs with oxygen.
The way to life is as simple as walking in the truth of our canceled debt. Jesus blood guarantees it.