The more I understand what happened when Jesus walked out of the grave the more simple this gospel really becomes to me.
There are catch phrases from the religious days though that can still hit me. They were used to keep me on the beaten path of striving to be in right standing with God. As I have come out from under the veil of religion, their meaning no longer binds me. In fact I see the ability to live as one who is set free.
Let’s take for instance the words from John the Baptist. The scriptures tell us that John’s disciples saw the crowds moving towards Jesus and went to John to tell him. It’s where the famous words were coined. “He must increase but I must decrease.” I am certain John had no idea how out of context these words would be taken through the years.
I cannot remember how many times I was told that I needed to decrease in order for Christ to increase. I didn’t question it. Instead I set out to be the best at decreasing. I didn’t want to take a chance on Christ not being able to increase. It became another mandate of life for me that left me hopelessly exhausted.
How does one indeed decrease? How does one know if it’s enough?
As the light sears into my being, my eyes open to the truth of what John was really saying. He was not exhorting mankind to decrease so that Christ might increase. He was stating a fact. His ministry was coming to an end. It had fulfilled its purpose. He was the forerunner of Christ. He would preach a message of repentance, exhorting people to change the way they thought. The word “repent” in Hebrew means to change one’s mind for better.
In the days of John’s preaching the people were still under the old covenant, the Mosaic law. The only way that they could exercise repentance was to grab a flawless animal, take it to the temple, have it slaughtered, it’s blood spilled and sprinkled in order for their sins to be atoned for. A new day was on the horizon. It is what John’s message was all about. It would not be long before those sacrifices would come to a halt. A new covenant would be in place allowing all sins to be forgiven from the first breath to the last breath with one-act. God’s Spirit would no longer live in the temple where the sacrifices for atonement were taken. He would make a home in us.
The resurrection changed everything for everyone. The cross paid the atonement for our sins but the resurrection gave us new life. The old covenant law was fulfilled forever, a new covenant was now in place. It is in that new covenant that I now live.
In the moment Christ walked out of the grave not only were my sins forgiven but I was given the chance of a lifetime. The very deity of God would make its home in me. There would be no more focus on behavior as the requirements of the law were fulfilled once and for all.
Jesus says “I’ve been crucified with Him and that I no longer live but that He lives in me. It’s now Jesus inside Julie. We are joined together as one. I embody Him. He fills me. It’s not an increasing or a decreasing it’s a complete and total makeover. My life is now hidden in Him.
Jesus came in all fullness, once for all, to dwell in me. There is nothing to increase. There is nothing to decrease.
We as creatures are geared to a mindset of knowing what we are to do to live out this life of Christianity. We feel better with lists and 5 point outlines that instruct us. But the truth is, it’s really very simple. We accept what has been gifted to us. It all comes down to what we believe and accept as our truth. Do we really believe that we died with Christ and that He now lives in us? That is the catch of it all.
I believe that I am married to my husband. I don’t question it or doubt it. I remember the day I stood before friends and joined my life with his. From that moment on I became David’s wife. Everything that was his became mine. It was my reality. It was what I began to live.
It’s the same concept yet with so much more. That moment when I gave my life to my God I became His dwelling place. Christ gave me His mind, and His Spirit. All that He was and is became mine.
I simply mature into what is my greatest truth. All of the fullness of the Deity of God is now in me. That is my reality. That is my identity.
What must I do to be a new creation? Live as though it is true. Because it is.
©copyrighted: Julie L. Todd 2017