And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:15
Smoking causes lung cancer according to research reports. No doubt true. An external fact. Yet people continue smoking. America provides unprecedented freedom for all citizens. No doubt true. An external fact. Yet people either choose to live in bondage or take freedom for granted. When dad dies of lung cancer or I cough dangerously, I may internalize the cancer research and quit smoking. When I live for a time in a foreign country and experience its lack of liberty, I may internalize America’s precious freedom.
“He died for all,” Paul writes. True. An external fact. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of the entire world. God declared the whole world righteous for Jesus’ sake. I live because God has brought me to faith through the waters of Baptism. Dead to sin, I live in the death and resurrection of Christ. True. An objective fact. But I often live each day as though dead in sin. I fear. I build my own kingdoms. I hate. I reject. I withdraw.
Paul describes internalizing Christ’s death, “And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” “For all” – external, objective. “For them” – internal, subjective. For us. For me. Because He died for me, a poor sinner, I know God’s love and forgiveness. Undeserving, I have eternal life now. I no longer want to live for myself but for Him who died for me and rose again. What a life – rich, challenging, surprising, open, other-directed, praise-filled – when by God’s grace I internalize Jesus’ death!
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord for sending Jesus to die for all -- for me. Because of Jesus’ death, I have eternal life. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)
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