Two Devotionals from Col. 2:13-15:
Nailed the Cross ~~~ Alive with Christ
I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior. Jesus died for my sins, and rose again. I am alive in Christ because my sins are forgiven. (REPEAT) The first step in becoming a Christian is to leave your old life so that you can become a new person. I love the powerful image presented in this scripture of my sins being nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ. Col. 2:13-14 is filled with past statements.
- you were dead in your sins…
- He forgave… taken away sin
- cancelled the charges, ever had a debt that was forgiven… The only way to have an amazing today and tomorrow is to let go of the past…
I love the cross. I asked Andy A. to make this cross out of the old lumber from the sign that was knocked down a few months ago in front of the church. It is weathered wood for a common purpose. It’s an old rugged cross. I imagine the cross of Christ was discarded wood, used for a common purpose. Jesus Christ always takes that which is common, and makes it HOLY. He is able to take the brokenness of our lives and restore for his purposes. Let Him. Do not resist him. Do not give in to the temptation of Satan to find fulfillment on your own.
The cross is symbol of what Jesus did for us, but it is also a reality. Jesus died. Jesus died on the cross. Jesus died in my place. The cross is no mere symbol, it is a reality of what Jesus Christ did so that my sins are forgiven!
The day Jesus hung on the cross, separation between God and man was nailed to the cross. That day sin, guilt and condemnation were nailed to the cross in exchange for grace, mercy, forgiveness and salvation. Reconciliation between God and man was complete for Jesus said it is finished!
I invite you to literally take a nail and hammer it into the cross, representing the forgiveness of your sins. (Explain the paper…maybe you want to write your name, a symbol, leave it blank, a sin that traps you still…) Nail your sins to the cross by laying aside every weight and sin that traps us in guilt/ bad behavior/ crazy decisions/ ungodly actions. You’re invited to nail to the cross, all past hurts, pain, disappointments, obstacles and hurdles that hinders our walk with the Lord.
What is it in our lives that you need to nail to the cross. We’ll take a few moments to give all who desire the time to put a nail in the cross… I can think of two reasons to drive a nail into the cross: #1 affirm the FACT of Christ’s death. He died for you. It is a fact. #2 your heart needs to find freedom in Christ.
For some this may be the first time you are actively coming to the Lrod Jesus Christ, asking him to forgive your sins and find freedom to be alive. For others, it may be a renewal of the commitment you already made, asking God to restore. Invite… and if any are not physically able, raise your hand and we’ll get Andy and Jim to help you…
Lord, give me courage to confess, /To bare my sinful heart to Thee;
Thy full forgiveness I would know / And from this weight of guilt be free. —D. De Haan
(ask Diane to play the Old Rugged Cross) AFTER: the cross will remain for a couple of months… you may take a nail anytime and drive it into the cross… you can get up anytime for the remainder of this service or next Sunday, if the Lord is speaking to you...
Devotional #2 Alive in Christ. READ Col. 2:15.
Easter is about being alive. ever have something exciting happen and you proclaim, “I am so glad to be alive!” It’s been 25 years since I stood on top of Mt. baker but I will forever be able to imagine looking down on Mt. Shuksan, looking south to Glacier peak, St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier and a few times as far as Mt. Hood, and saying WOW… May the thrill of being alive in Christ be a daily grace…
The exhilaration of being alive is most profound after the storm, after the hardship, the birth of a baby, the anticipation of a wedding, the reconciliation two friends. Jesus disarmed the powers and authorities… the oppression that weighs us down. The world is crushing. We live in a divided nation with each side seeking to crush the other. We live in a divided world. We live in a world that is oppressive. There is a war within… Jesus Christ has overcome the world. He did it by the cross. Jesus Christ is alive and his promise is to live in you. “Triumph” is one of the sweetest words in the Bible.
The most important truth in all of Christianity: We are made alive with Christ. Twice in this scripture Paul says, We are made alive with Christ.
In another place in scripture Jesus that this truth when he said, “I am the vine; you are the branches (John 15:5a). Can you tell where the branch ends and the vine starts? No. They are one plant, sharing one life together. So from here on our identity is in Christ. The old has gone, the new has come. We are no longer just ordinary human beings. A few weeks ago Jason wanted to see me… he was so excited about reconciling with family on a recent trip to Eastern Washington, and he told them about his new faith in Christ, and together they rejoiced…We are new creations, linked with the life of Jesus Christ.
The great Easter message is aliveness. Your sins have been nailed to the cross through Christ, and now he has overcome death. The whole work of the enemy is to get you to question yourself and go back to thinking you are just an ordinary individual, struggling on through life, trying to make it the best way you can, needing to mobilize all your human resources to try to get ahead of the other fellow and to achieve as much of the fulfillment of life as you can. Any time you believe that, you go right back to acting as you once did--back to the misery, back to the heartaches. You can escape that only when you come back again to this central truth--we are alive in Jesus Christ!
The weight of sin is gone. We were made alive in Jesus Christ. We cannot be the same again. I read about one pastor who would say to Christians who came to him discouraged with their Christian life, “Well, quit then, go back, try not to be a Christian. See what will happen.” You can't do it, because they are new creatures, made alive in Jesus Christ.
When Jesus died on the cross he died to pay the price for your sins. We are sinners. When Jesus began his public ministry he gathered disciples to learn from him. One of the disciples was Peter. When Peter, a fisherman by trade, first met Jesus the Lord gave Peter a glimpse of his full nature by causing a miraculous abundance of fish caught in Peter’s nets. Peter knew there was something amazing about Jesus, and he shouted to Jesus in Luke 5:8, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.” The rest of the gospel story is Jesus refusing to let Peter go. Jesus also refuses to let you go. His mission: go to the cross, die for your sins, rise to new life.
I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior. Jesus died for my sins, and rose again. I am alive in Christ because my sins are forgiven. When he rose from the dead, he overcame the sins of the world and he has overcome your sins. Thank the Lord for the great truth of being made alive in Christ. May the amazement of what Christ has done be a daily grace. You sins have been nailed to the cross, and now you are alive in Christ. Amen.