ADVENT DEVOTIONAL FOR 2017
REIGNING WITH CHRIST
But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
When the Bible says that we reign with Christ it does not mean that we have everything our own way or that the way is easy for us—any more than the President of the United States, though the most powerful person in the world, has everything easy or everything that he wants. In some ways our position in Christ is even more powerful than that of the President, who, after all, can only affect human history. In Christ, we can affect human eternity. But to become President you have to go through the trial of an electoral campaign, and to reign with Christ, you come once for all, and yet daily, to the cross. And the cross is not primarily what Christ had to suffer—it is what I had to suffer.
FJ HUEGEL: Then, too, how logical it all becomes viewed in the light not only of heaven but of reason. For if it was my sins which my Redeemer bore in His Sacred Body on the accursed tree (and verily He did bear them all, though their number is without end and their heinousness such as only hell could tell), then what could be more logical than for me to see myself on that awful cross and to consider myself henceforth dead to sin as in God’s Holy Word I am commanded to do? For after all, what you see there in a sense is not Christ. It could never represent Him, but it does represent me.
I have always been glad over the way Peter puts it in his first epistle (2:24) where we have the biblical declaration of the fact I have just sought to enunciate. “Christ also suffered for us . . . Who in his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.”
PRAYER: Dear God, Jesus went to the cross to show me just how wicked and desperately lost I have been. When I see him, I recognize myself. Since he took my place on the tree, grant that by faith I may consider myself dead to sin and alive to righteousness. Then, send your Holy Spirit upon me that what I think and believe may be reality. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.