The Dying of Jesus
The Dying of Jesus
For now, we all have earthly bodies. We can get sick, hurt, or killed. And, of course, we all go through the aging process. Some people even have jobs that put their earthly body in jeopardy every day. The apostle Paul was most glad to spend his life going about preaching the gospel, but his job was dangerous. He was in physical danger much of the time as Christians were being imprisoned, tortured, and killed.
In all of his physical weaknesses, Paul compared his body to an earthen vessel — a clay jar — that is very breakable. His weak body is what he had to use to carry the gospel wherever he could. So, he traveled by land and sea through all the countries along the Mediterranean Sea with a body that had experienced beatings and imprisonments. Since many were wanting to kill Paul, he wrote to the Corinthian congregation about using his weak body to carry his precious treasure — the gospel of Christ. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:7-11,
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
Very few Christians today suffer in the same way Paul did. Nevertheless, we can make a comparison to Paul’s life with our whole lives. In our bodies, we can experience being afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and being struck down in various ways. What Paul wants us to know is that such suffering has a purpose.
As we live a Christian life in faith, love and obedience, the world will see that we have all sorts of physical weaknesses. But, they will see us continuing on in the true faith, in spite of our physical weaknesses, trials and set backs. Our earthly bodies do go through all sorts of challenges, but we remain spiritually strong in the truth — even as we get old and decrepit.
We are carrying a treasure in our weak bodies — that treasure is Jesus Christ and the gospel of salvation through Him alone. So, no matter what is happening to us physically, we are “always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus”. Our weak bodies are a witness to the fact that God Almighty chose to save us through the physical weakness of a human body in Jesus Christ. Although He is God, Jesus let His body suffer mockings, tortures, crucifixion and death, so that His sinless life could pay for the punishment we deserve for our sins.
So now, when we live our weak lives for the Lord, we are also witnessing that we, too, will be resurrected — just as Jesus was resurrected. We are able to accept whatever happens to us physically, because we know we have a better life — an eternal life — with Jesus Christ. Instead of centering our lives on ourselves and our desires, we center our lives on Jesus. Everything we do is for Jesus’ sake, because He is the one who gives us eternal life.
When in our weakness, we still faithfully witness to salvation in Jesus, the world can see that we are not the ones who are powerful — they can see that the power of God is manifested in our weaknesses. That’s the way it should be — even though the world does not expect to see God in our weaknesses, they know there’s something different in the Christian’s life.
Paul put it this way in Romans 14:8,
For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
There is a blessedness and peace in knowing we are the Lord’s in every situation. In giving up our lives for the Lord, we say, “Hallelujah! Lord, it is so good to know that Your suffering and death have paid for all of our sins. Now we are free to live for You.”
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.