Compare Hebrews 6:4-6, Matthew 16:24, Romans 6:6, Galatians 2:20, Galatians 5:24, and Galatians 6:14. What does this comparison suggest about what it means to crucify Christ?
The original text in Greek emphasizes the word “impossible.” It is impossible for God to restore those who have “fallen away” because “they are crucifying once again the Son of God” (Hebrews 6:6, ESV). Paul wants to stress that there is no other way of salvation except through Christ (Acts 4:12). Salvation by any other means is as impossible as it is “for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18) or to please God “without faith” (Hebrews 11:6).
To crucify again the Son of God is a figurative expression that seeks to describe something that happens in the personal relationship between Jesus and the believer.
When the religious leaders crucified Jesus, they did it because Jesus posed a threat to their supremacy and autonomy. Thus, they hoped to eliminate Jesus as a person and destroy a powerful and dangerous enemy. Similarly, the gospel challenges the sovereignty and self-determination of the individual at the most fundamental level. The essence of Christian life is to take up the cross and deny oneself (Matthew 16:24). This means to crucify “the world” (Galatians 6:14), the “old man” (Romans 6:6), and “the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24, ESV). The purpose of the Christian life is that we undergo a kind of death. Unless we experience this death to self, we cannot receive the new life God wants to give us (Romans 6:1-11).
The struggle between Jesus and self is a struggle to death (Romans 8:7-8, Galatians 5:17). It is a difficult battle that is not won at once. This passage does not refer to the person who sometimes fails in the battle against the “old man” and the “flesh.” This sin refers to the person who, after having experienced genuine salvation and what it implies (Hebrews 6:4-5, ), decides that Jesus is a threat to the kind of life he or she wants to have and moves to kill their relationship with Him. That is, as long as the person does not fully choose to turn away from Christ, there is still the hope of salvation.
|What does it mean to die to “self,” to take the “cross”? What is the thing that you find most difficult to hand over to the dominion of Christ?|