I was reading this morning in Colossians and found myself smitten by this passage. I don’t believe I’ve ever read it in Eugene Peterson’s translation, The Message, but it gives a richness to this short passage that I was not expecting:
11-15 Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.
The expression, “that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross” was worth the price of admission for me.
Despite what I see sometimes in my own life, and regardless of the slips, trips, and falls that my spiritual life can, and has, experienced, this truth rings clear throughout the corners of the universe: I am raised with Christ! There is no superseding message that is going to trump that reality. I am glad this morning solely based on the sufficiency of Jesus, the perfection of His death, and the promise to me that His resurrection makes. It is this assurance that creates joyful effort in me to be more like Him. If I am trying to ascend the hill in an effort to become a mountain climber I will fail every time. Ah, but if I am ascending the hill because I’ve already been made a mountain climber, and what’s more, the Master mountain climber has decided to climb with me, then I will certainly summit that glorious peak with Him.