I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20Standing at the foot of the cross i state into the face off all goodness and all holiness. I see the very origin of everything benevolent. I also see the just sentence that sin deserves - violent death by crucifixion. I see wrath coming down; I see death of the worst kind. So what can I say about being crucified with Christ? What can I say about that?
As believers we now have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. The very same Spirit in Christ... in the Father is in us. This is the same Spirit that was in perfect unity with the Father to execute wrath upon sin on the cross. This Spirit now working in us puts our old man on that cross with Christ!?! The sentence of death has been decreed for the old man and by the power of the Holy Spirit our old man is pinned to that cross with Christ.
The sentence of death has been decreed for all mankind... The difference now for the believer is that we acknowledge and agree with this sentence of death that it is GOOD and carry our cross willingly just as Christ bore His willingly.
Those who are in Christ how hate sin as the Holy Spirit does and they come into agreement that the flesh and all its sinful inclinations should be put to death... that it does not deserve to live... that it is worthy of damnation. The believer now has no compassion or mercy for the old man and its sinful inclinations... it joins in the shout, "away with Him, let Him be crucified!" (For Christ was being condemned as the damned). The old man must be executed; it must die; and it must die violently. For those who are in Christ crucify the flesh with all its sinful desires.... putting to death all the deeds of the flesh... making no provision for the flesh.
Those in Christ willingly submit to Holy Spirit driving the nails through the old man.... the old life... to old ways. However, crucifixion is a slow agonizing process.... the old man screams and fights and pushes up for air to try to stay alive. The old man seems to be able to hang on for dear life, gasping for air, but the reality is that it has been nailed to that cross and it is just a matter of time before it suffocates and dies. There is a struggle in this age with the old man trying to be revived, but Holy Spirit has nailed it to the tree and as long as we stay in Christ and truly stay "in the faith" (Col 1:27) then it is only a matter of time before death... but there is a coming day of resurrection when that old man will be swallowed up forever and we will shine being fully united with Christ in His likeness being totally liberated from the bondage and corruption caused by sin.
The one who is in Christ is someone who sees the self nature; the carnal self as deserving death everyday - the one crucified with Christ is the one who keeps that old man upon that cross suffering the agony of death everyday until it totally perishes. There is a fragrance of the death of Christ coming forth from us and it is a sweet smelling aroma to God, but a despicable fragrance to the world since they love the carnal man and all its desires; since they love to gratify the desires of the flesh... for in the last days people will be loves of self rather than lovers of God. But those in Christ no longer live for themselves but for Him who gave Himself up for them
Beloved don't let anyone tell you to come off that cross until that old man is forever eradicated at the resurrection when Christ appears. This age is defined by a cross for us, and we will enjoy and suffer in light of the cross... for part of us loves that the old man is dying (therefore we love and long for true repentance and when we get it we rejoice), But part of us is still sympathetic to its selfish inclinations struggling to fully surrender and so we suffer.
But when we see Jesus hanging there for us; and we see what sin did to Him, how could we be any longer sympathetic towards the old man? We will want to crawl up there with Him and be nailed to that tree with Him so that we can die with Him.... for this is loves response to the beauty of Jesus crucified. May we have the same cry that Paul had ... I've been crucified with Christ... let us have one boast as Paul did ... I boast in nothing but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.