Or Luke 9:21-27
The angry face was on and the volume maxed out before I even realized what was happening. I managed to stammer, “Mommy needs a time out,” and step out of the situation before my children needed psychotherapy—I think.
I quarantined myself in my room with the Bread of Life—the best comfort food out there. My technique in situations like this is to open the book and try to listen to what God is trying to tell me. Randomly.
This morning, it was the crucifixion story. Truth be told, I was just glad it wasn’t the minor prophets. That stuff’s complicated. But the crucifixion? Other than a massive dose of perspective, I didn’t make the connection. Until a couple of hours later when a verse I memorized back when I had all my brain cells wiggled its way into my head.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
Allow me to paraphrase. When I chose Jesus back and accepted his gift, I laid my life—my will—down at the same time. So my old ways are dead. The life I live now is because, washed with the blood of Jesus, I am clean enough that he can live in me. His love for me is an undeserved gift and I cannot ignore that. If I could do this on my own, Christ died for nothing!
The trick is figuring out how to live like a dead woman.
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
Keyword: Daily. I am pretty sure if the word “minutely” had ever been a word in any language, He would have used it here.
My nature wanted to continue that fit behind closed doors. My nature wanted my way, my way only, and my way NOW.
Jesus also said, “Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17). This verse links so nicely with Galatians 5:23, it must not be a coincidence. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
If a good tree produces those things, what does a bad tree produce? “Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies…”
I don’t fall prey to much of that list but, there might be one or two…
In order to live like dead women, we MUST learn the difference between good fruit and bad fruit. We have to understand that the stuff that comes out of us, comes out because it’s in us. And we need to really get that once confessed, bad stuff doesn’t magically vaporize. It will try to come back.
And we have to crucify it.
Philosophical question of the day: if we are to live like dead women so that Christ can live through us, does that make us Zombies for Jesus and would anyone buy that bumper sticker?