Thursday, April 5, 2012


Typically the “Easter” focus in the Church is on the amazing miracle of Jesus being raised from the dead. Yes, He has risen! He has risen indeed! Hallelujah! Yet, are we truly aware of the unfathomable miracle that we too have died and been resurrected? If so, why aren’t we also proclaiming this glorious miracle on “Easter” morning, or any other morning, for that matter? Is it that Tozer is accurate in saying,

“Among the plastic saints of our times, Jesus has to do all the dying,
And all we want to hear is another sermon about his dying”?

Scripture clearly tells us,

I have been crucified with Christ;
And it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Galatians 2:20

In order to have been raised into new life, I had to have been dead! As a chosen one of God, I have always been in Christ, including during His crucifixion and resurrection. Instead of rejoicing in this fact, most “Easter” morning services draw attention, in one way or another, to believers needing to “die to self” in response to Christ’s death for them. If we have already died and have been resurrected, if it were possible, why would it be necessary that we die again? Did Jesus fall short in what He accomplished on our behalf? I’d like to share with you this brief note which speaks very succinctly to this issue –


Over the last few years, I’ve read a lot of posts on Facebook that use the phrase “dying to self,” and other related concepts. The implications of taking up our cross daily and following Jesus are indeed vital. Here, I would like to call attention to a crucial reality that must be the vine of all the branches of life in Christ.

In order for us to pursue Christ in “dying to self” we must first understand that we are already dead! Believers were identified with Christ at every point in His self-giving for us. When Jesus was crucified – we were crucified! When He was buried – we were buried! When He was raised from the dead -- we were raised with Him! When Christ ascended to the Father -- we went with Him to be seated in the heavenlies.

Paul noted, “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him” (Romans 6:6). The believer does not and can not put the self-life to death. No, we are already dead because we were there with Christ when He died. But we are not left in death. The emphasis falls on us being raised to newness of life because He was raised on the third day.

There is all the difference in the world between us making efforts to die to self, and us taking up our cross daily as those knowing that we are already dead, and experiencing the living, resurrected Christ expressing Himself through our innermost being. The one leads to frustration, bondage and performance-based religion. The other leads to a life of love and freedom in which the self-life is increasingly abandoned.

Christ says to us,
“In Me, you are already dead, buried and resurrected;
now live that out by faith in each day that I give to you!”

The Law said, “do this and live.” Jesus says, “I am alive in you, now pursue life in the Son.” Boiled down, Paul said, “You have the Spirit of Life, now walk in step with the Spirit.”

Many sermons, books and podcasts about living the “Christian life” have been consumed by saints. The tragedy is that such sources often communicate that the believer needs more than Christ -- “you need to tithe,” “you need the baptism of the Spirit so that you can speak in tongues,” “you need to fast,” you need to follow this scheme or formula.

However, Paul stated that believers are “complete in Christ.” Of course, a growth process is involved, but growth results organically from the branch deriving life from its attachment to the vine. Paul could tell the Philippians to “work out their salvation” only because it was the Lord “working in them to will and do His good pleasure.” A newborn infant has a lot of maturing to do, but it is “complete” at birth – everything is resident in the little child to become a full grown adult. We bear fruit by abiding in the Vine. We can do nothing without Him. As Kat Huff noted, “We cannot even die without Him. How humbling is that?”
– by Jon Zens

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God
(Colossians 3:3).

A sermon focus only on the death and resurrection of Christ is only half of the story and ultimately feeds into the bondage of self-effort! May I encourage you to stop trying to do something which Jesus already accomplished! Instead, make your celebration complete by basking in the freedom of the position His death bought for you and begin proclaiming,

“I have risen! I have risen indeed! Hallelujah!”

As you live in this freedom, you will find that the self whom you have worked so hard to eradicate… will little by little slough away.


P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: You may also contact me at:
Bonnie Jaeckle
In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
Diagonal Progress
505 Jefferson St.
Diagonal, IA 50845

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