Crucified with Christ
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publications
I have been crucified with Christ
Part #1: The Pharisees
If you can boldly speak truth in love as religious connivers twist, spin and plot your demise, yet respectfully give them due honor, unworthy and abusive as they may be, then you are crucified with Christ. In time, your accusers will become faceless, nameless and rewardless, perhaps even rejects of the kingdom.
Who were these Pharisees in Jesus' life? They were the product of two great sins committed shortly after Moses gave the Ten Commandments to Israel.
The first sin was to ignore the point of the law. The Ten Commandments were improperly viewed as ten laws that, if kept, could elevate one from sinner to saint without the need of mercy, grace or forgiveness.
The second sin was the attempt to outdo God by adding man-made laws on top of God's laws. Somewhere, someplace, someone added one more law, then another, then . . . . One such addition forbade spitting on the Sabbath lest the spittle germinate a seed, thereby constituting work on the Sabbath.
After fourteen hundred years of Pharisaic additions, Jesus, who honored God's laws, not man's, was accused as a liar, a blasphemer and the prince of devils. "Crucify him!" they demanded.
Pharisees exist today. They are called moralists and have found their way into our churches. Like the Pharisees of old, they are fortressed by rules. Fail to measure up to their opinions and they will seek your demise, just like they did to Jesus.
Jesus looked such people dead in the eye, spoke the truth, then remained silent as they plotted his crucifixion. Then, on the cross He prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
Can we do that? Can we speak truth, then remain silent as the Pharisees misrepresent us, distorting the truth beyond recognition? Can we ask God to forgive them as they cuddle in smug satisfaction, feeling certain that they have done God a service? If so, then we have advanced in our understanding of what it means to be crucified with Christ.
And resurrection life will be ours.
Immanuel: God is with you!
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Crucified with Christ Part #1: The Pharisees
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