Incarnation or Incarceration?
Illustrating a Truth of Our New Identity
We can readily imagine what it might be like for ourselves to be locked up (God forbid), either in a jail cell, or by captivity to sin, or by being held in the grip of powerful emotions we can't easily get free of such as fear, depression, anxiety, etc. But what would it be like for the Lord to be bound? That's impossible, right? Even death and the grave couldn't hold Him! It's true that He is eternally and magnificently free. However, He just might choose to go into captivity voluntarily with us. Rather than desert us. Now, that would be quite like Him, wouldn't it?
Consider that all of the beauty and power of our new lives consists of this: that Christ is now in us and this is the "hope of glory" that makes all things new. The question needs asking: are we an incarnation of the Living Word, or are we somehow still incarcerated by our sinful ways, or our old patterns of belief and behavior? And if Jesus is not being incarnated in us, is He not also being incarcerated with us? He said He would never leave us or forsake us. That means He is still on the inside of us even when we don't "let Him out" by living our lives His way.
Another way to see this is the view from heaven. Jesus has descended from heaven not just to save us at the cross, but to live His life in and through us by His Spirit. Jesus is alive inside of us. There are things He would love to do each day. Things He would love to lead us into doing with His help and guidance.
But suppose we don't let our Great Friend come out to play. Suppose we hog all the air time for ourselves and give scant thought to Him or His ways. Sounds like jail time on the inside to me. Personally, I would hate it if I got stuck with a deal like that, how 'bout you? So, why not take the key of freedom and set both yourself and Jesus free to live in glorious harmony? What's the key?
Surrender all to Him!
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
...seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Colossians 3:9b-10
Lord Jesus, it's bad enough when I feel bound by my own wrong ways. I hate to think what that must mean for You on the inside of me! You are so incredibly patient and loving to wait upon me for Your turn to take the lead. Forgive me for all the times when I refused to let You have Your way with me. Help me open wide now to the possibilities of a life surrendered entirely into Your safekeeping and placed squarely under Your leadership. Come into my heart, into my life, and live Your life in me. I give myself entirely to You, body, soul and spirit. Live in me and live through me that life You died to share with me.
Next Illustrated Insight
Take the Elevator!
Illustrating our lightning fast access to grace and mercy.
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