Bearing in Our Bodies His Death, But Oh the Glory!

Photo from https://unsplash.com/@jae462

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him… (Romans 6:5-6, KJV)

“We have been planted together in the likeness of His death.” Have you ever given much thought to what that means? Lately, with all the suffering of the saints I have encountered, including the pains of my own aging process, Christ’s death has, by His mercy, been brought more into focus than ever.

As I contemplated the above passage, all of a sudden I saw myself literally inside of Christ’s body on the cross and it was even in color! There was light in there! There was a glow and warmth and even a since of love, forgiveness, acceptance and peace. Yes, all hell had broken loose on Him outside, but it was a glorious experience as I was tucked safely inside Him through it all. Amazing! I had often tried to imagine what it meant to be “crucified with Christ” with no luck… just a blank. But with this experience a whole raft of scriptures opened up to me. Paul wrote:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God… (Gal 2:20, KJ2000)

Those hours on the cross were the focal point of all of God’s creation and His purpose for it! We were literally placed IN Him with all our sins and sufferings. In that moment we were made pure and complete IN Him so that Christ could live in us by the power of His resurrection life.

So, why all this suffering that we must go through? Think of it. If we have been “planted in the likeness of His death,” what was that like? All hell was going on outside of Him. He was not only made to suffer physically, but emotionally as well, so much so that He cried out, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Not only had all men forsaken Him, but He couldn’t even feel His Father’s loving care and pleasure any longer. And the demons! They were mocking and spitting on Him for His faithfulness to the Father. They even tried to make Him doubt who He was, “If you are truly the Son of God, come down off that cross. Spare yourself!” Yet, He did not cave. He was bearing our sins on that cross, not His own. We and all that we are were IN Him as God’s chosen ones (See Galatians 2:20). Isaiah saw this focal point in the eternity of time and wrote,

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. (Isa 53:10-11, ESV2011)

In Satan’s hate and jealousy Jesus was being attacked for never having sinned and being the perfect obedient Son of His Father, but it was God who was in control to fulfill His will for us all. Satan had given the temptation of Christ his best shot and failed. Oh, the wrath of hell! Here was his chance to get even with Jesus for all He had done to upset his worldly kingdom, but God won the battle by what seemed the weakness of Christ. For in this final blow against Christ he lost the keys to hell’s prison and enabled our release into God’s kingdom. This why Paul who walked in Christ could say, “When am weak, then I am strong.”

Don’t you think that our being IN Christ in this life also stirs up Satan’s anger? Most of us as worldly people had never known the suffering that we have gone through since we were born from above in Christ. The enemy hates Christ and he hates those He lives and manifests Himself in. T. Austin-Sparks wrote about this fact so well.

May I remind you that the nature of this planting is just that with which we are so familiar. “Planted together in the likeness of His death.” That is the word of the Apostle, “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” The enemy is the instrument so often, of planting us more deeply into the death of Christ. His assaults, his attacks, his accusations, everything – yes. The Lord is not the source of evil, but the Lord allows it. So often our hearts cry out: “Why did the Lord ever allow that in our lives?” That thing which has meant such a deep, dark passage. Why did the Lord allow it? He could have prevented it. Well, we were planted by it into the death of the Lord Jesus. We were brought more than ever to an end of ourselves. Yes, and therefore, to know the Lord in a larger measure than we have ever known Him, and to be brought to a place where it will not be so easy for the Devil to shake us next time.

That is the sovereign way of God in deeper death experiences. “Planted together in the likeness of His death.” Have you been planted there initially? Have you been planted in Christ crucified? Or are you one of those attachments to something? Are you planted? And when a deeper planting comes, remember it is the roots being driven downwards, and the issue is going to be most surely endurance, stability, and ability to stand; but, oh, there is going to be greater fruitfulness. [1]

Yes, most of our suffering since we were planted in Christ has been at the hands of the demons of hell. But it is also true that God said, “Those whom I love, I rebuke and chasten…” and He does this to get us back on the right path again when we wander. Yet, we often suffer when we have not sinned or done anything to deserve it. As in Christ, in all this suffering God has a purpose–that we might live “also in the likeness of his resurrection.” Have you ever met dear older saint who has a sweetness about them that draws you? They seem to radiate God’s love no matter what comes their way. When you do you just want to sit there in silence and hold their hand and soak it up, especially if you have been going through a time of suffering yourself. Words in a moment like this can only take away from what God is doing. True fellowship in the Spirit goes so much deeper than words. When God makes it happen it is like experiencing heaven itself. Oh, the glory that is our in the unity of the Father and the Son!

The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:22-23, ESV2011)

Our lives on this earth as God’s children are all about death and resurrection and every moment is in His hands as He conforms us into the image of His Son. Satan never has the authority to do anything to us that is not in our Father’s designed outcome–that He might have many sons and daughters who manifest HIS glory and the glory of His Son. My dear brothers and sisters it is all worth it!

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Heb 12:11, ESV2011)

Remember, dear brothers and sisters,

…Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, (2Cor 4:16-17, ESV2011)

Dear Daddy, please give these dear saints who suffer a brief moment of experiencing that glory that they might be strengthened and push on for the goal that they might share the glory of your Son. Amen.

[1] http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/002932.html

27 comments on “Bearing in Our Bodies His Death, But Oh the Glory!

  1. Amen to your prayer, Michael.

    This article describes a truth our old nature does not want to, even cannot accept. If we have not been put into Christ by God Himself, into this new nature of Jesus Christ, we will never be able to accept His will in all adverse circumstances.

    It was wonderful to hear about your latest experience with Jesus on the cross, my dear brother!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Susanne. I think that once we come to the place where we see all this dying we go through with the eyes of our Father, we will wonder why we kicked against it for so long! It is a wonderful thing to see myself IN Christ on the cross as a reality and not just knowing my sins were there on that day. Like Paul prayed,

      “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Phil 3:10-11, KJ2000)

      Funny thing. I prayed this to be so in me almost fifty-one years ago and it is just now taking form in my heart. Oh, the glory that is ours IN Christ Jesus!

      I was reading Patricia’s latest blog and she pointed out how Paul had come to that place while he was in Nero’s captivity awaiting his own death and it came out in his letters to the Colosians where he wrote,

      “If you have therefore been raised with Christ, seek things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your sights on things above, not on things on earth. Because you are dead, and your life is hidden with the Christ in God ”. (Colossians 3: 1 – 3)

      I know that early on Jesus and the Father have given you a taste of what it means to be with them where they are seated. God often gives us wonderful experiences in HIS reality so that it might carry us through our suffering on this earth that we might walk in His glory, even in this life besides the hereafter.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow!! Michael, I just saw that in the picture you chose for your blog there comes a heart of light out of the clouds. Beautiful! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      You make me smile, Susanne. 🙂 At first I didn’t see it either on that site as I searched for the right picture, then there it was, a heart filled with light in the midst of storm clouds. Isn’t that what our Daddy is bringing forth in us whether we see it or not? It is a joy to watch it all unfold, dear heart. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Glad I made you smile, Michael. 🙂

        This beautiful sight
        Of a heart of Light
        Makes clear it’s right
        Our darkness gets bright

        “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.” (Lk 11:34-36 ESV)

        I think the last Bible verses go well with your revelation of what the cross really means.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Michael says:

    Yes, where I saw myself in Jesus on the cross there was no darkness or sin consciousness there. His whole body was filled with light even in His suffering. And that vision went into my heart. Who knows what is to come, but He is doing all He can to make us ready that we might walk through it by HIS faith. Your little poem sums it all up, too. Thanks so much. ⭐

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Loretta says:

    Oh what a blessing this post is, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carina says:

    Such a timely post… I’m going through one of those deep planting moments. God also showed me an image of revealing the foundation, of destroying everything that hadn’t been built on the rock. I certainly don’t want to get to the gates of heaven and discover all I’ve done in life was worthless, of no eternal significance. The pruning is very painful and yet so necessary because otherwise the fruit is not edible at all.

    At previous times, I’d asked God to get me out of the situation I was in. And yet, time after time, as I sought my way out and decided to help God with the solution, I found myself shortly after at the same crossroads. So this time, I have surrendered. There’s nothing I can do to work this out. All my very human efforts have failed, and in fact, made things much worse. Now I sense God wants me to just stand still and know He is God. The provider. The miracle-worker. The healer. What I’m praying for is, God, please help my inner being. I need peace, faith, hope, patience, love, a true repentance of my self-life, religious life. I need to be much more aware of my true identity, so that the old, worldly thinking and strategies can’t bring me once again to bondage. I need to clearly hear His voice. I need to know Him, to be truly sheltered in His loving arms until the storm passes.

    I appreciate your prayers for me and my family. May God open new doors and provide the guidance we so desperately need right now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Carina, I sense that you are much like me in that you are use to getting things done by the will of your own strength. It has taken me a long time to finally understand why Paul said, “When I am weak, then am I strong.” God does not need self-willed help from us. That is what God was teaching Zachariah in chapter four. That menorah he saw was not like the one in the temple, for it anointing oil that gave it light was piped into the lamps from heaven without the help of temple priests. That is why the interpretation of the vision was, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.”

      Yes, He lets us take another lap around the mountain until we can’t do it any longer, then He can move. This is why it takes so long for those of us with strong wills. I spent 14 years in the wilderness with not a word from Him until I was totally played out of all my religious thoughts and schemes. And He still is there to give me a “refresher coarse” when I need it. 🙂

      You and your family are in our prayers, Carina. Sometimes before He can open new doors He has to slam all the rest of them shut. Like Jesus said, “I AM the door of the sheep.” He is always our Door. By Him we go in and we go out and find pasture. 🙂

      Love you in Christ,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Carina says:

        Thank you, Michael. Indeed, what you say is very true about me. Growing up, I had to rely on myself because I grew up in a deeply dysfunctional family and had very little or no good guidance on how to trust God to help me. It can take years to identify the root cause of the way we approach life, including the way we approach God. There are things He’s been showing me for a long time, but the puzzle has more pieces now and I can connect the dots and see that a lot of what I subconsciously believed were lies.

        God is not like my natural father. He has never abandoned me. He hasn’t rejected me, belittled me, or discarded me because I’ve failed so many times. He’s always with arms open wide, willing to give me more love than I can dream of. Saying this sounds simple, and yet it’s a truth that I still find hard to grasp because of so many experiences of rejection. Does He really love me? Does He really care what I’m going through? Unless I can believe this, I will continue switching back to automatic, self-reliant mode. There’s no way I can let God be God until I learn to trust Him, to abandon myself in Him knowing indeed, I am precious in His eyes and He holds my whole future in His hands.

        So if I had to sum up what I think God is doing right now, it’s to engrave in my heart the truth that I am His and He is mine. That it’s His love that casts out every fear. Because it’s not about doing, not about feeling, but about being in Him. Just sitting and resting in His arms for a little while, like a child in the bosom of his mother, as David so beautifully expressed it in Psalm 131. I used to dream about doing great things for God. Now, I just want to be a beloved child who walks by faith, one day at a time, following Jesus. Let Him decide what He will do with me. The one thing that matters is to see His face and to just know He’s there even when we don’t feel His presence.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Carina, I had the same kind of father growing up. My dad lost a leg in France during WW2 and it hardened him. It was like growing up in a military unit. It was HIS way, no questions asked and never a show of affection. This view of what a father is tainted my view of our heavenly Father as well. Then the Catholic nuns and priests reinforced it with church doctrine in parochial school.

        Yes, believing He loves us as His beloved children has been a long time coming. Yet, I can see how Jesus loves me a lot easier. But didn’t Jesus say, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”? To know Jesus is to know the Father because they are ONE. John 3:16 about says it all. God IS love!

        “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.” (Song 7:10, ESV2011)

        Thank you Father for drawing us ever closer to you through it all,
        Amen

        Like

      • Carina says:

        Amen! I had a very similar experience, and Catholicism didn’t help at all. Growing up, the Trinity was divided in my heart. God the Father was the evil deity who murdered the poor little baby Egyptians (I made the mistake of reading Exodus on my own when I was about ten and I misunderstood quite a bit) and Jesus was the great, loving friend who intervened to save me from His wrath, but ultimately His interventions were not decisive enough to make me feel protected, sort of like my mother. It has taken a looooong time to see the essential unity of purpose in the Godhead, to understand that God’s plan was to accept me and give me His seal of approval from before the foundation of the world. We learn the theology and give mental assent, but then it can take lots of bumps on the road for our hearts to really catch up and understand experientially. Some things sound too good to be true!

        I was meditating the other day that the reason my spiritual life doesn’t have the stability it takes to give consistent fruit is that I’m not fully founded and rooted in that unconditional love that casts out all fear. As long as fear and doubts about my identity and security are part of the equation, the old spirit of slavery can still rear its ugly head and make me lose the joy of my salvation. And when we don’t find our joy, peace and contentment in the Lord, religion becomes the default mode we fall back on, especially for those of us who have spent a lot of our lives in legalistic churches.

        So many things to die to, brother! But we know to die is gain. We know if we sell everything we have (and I don’t mean material possessions, but all our silly ideas about what we do for God, etc. etc.) and just run for the treasure in the field, it’s so worth it. Little by little as we get more glimpses of God’s glory, everything else begins to fade, and we can say with Paul that we count everything as garbage, but to know Him! To just experience a love that is completely beyond words. Oh, for more revelation of the Cross for all of us who seek Him!

        Thank you for your encouragement. I pray for you and your family, and all those who visit your blog and need God to reveal Himself to them in fresh ways.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Carina, you wrote, “And when we don’t find our joy, peace and contentment in the Lord, religion becomes the default mode we fall back on, especially for those of us who have spent a lot of our lives in legalistic churches.” How many churches did we try as we were caught in this trap! My wife gave up on them before I did. I kept thinking that maybe the next one would be different, only to find out that it was ruled over by another person who was building their own kingdom and that we were the slaves. “More bricks! More bricks! Get your own straw!” Finally, it became obvious that what I was looking for, His family ruled by His love, would not be found in any institution that is patterned after the non-profit corporate American model.

        Jesus told the disciples that HE would build His Church. Any structure that is being ruled over and built by the carnal efforts of man is doomed to fail and the sad thing is how many true seekers it takes down with it. Once I discovered the importance of following the voice of the Lord instead of the siren songs of pulpit-eers, I was able to get the spiritual breakthrough I was looking for. He truly is quite capable of building HIS Church, one living stone at a time! The secret is resting IN Him so we CAN hear His voice, then trusting in that Voice–the leading of the Holy Spirit. Resting IN Him sure does save us from a lot of grief caused by our own selfish wills.

        “LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever.” (Ps 131:1-3, KJ2000)

        Thanks for your prayers for us all, Carina. We will continue to pray for you as well that you might rest on His bosom and in His love no matter what comes your way,
        Michael

        Like

  6. maryofthesnow says:

    Beautiful, Just as in Adam and Eve we have a carnal body, through Jesus Christ we are reconcile back into God to our true identity, Spiritual body. That is why God said we are made in his image, and that he is Spirit. God wants us to understand we are risen with Christ and that his Kingdom is our home. We can experience the attributes of God’s fruits in the substance of life. Thank you for sharing and encouragement.

    Like

  7. A powerful and uplifting post, Michael. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Mark says:

    My last root deepening was 9 years long. I can see the potters wheel, the caldron, the scraping of the dross, the wilderness, unwinding of past family programing, removal of the protective hedge, chastening, diverse (crazy) trials, all one after another with overlap. I’m still in recovery after 2 years, feel like I’m in hospital right now or under the alter. Recover has been very slow. Great and timely article for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Mark, This all sounds so familiar to me. My fall into that dark night was fairly rapid, but the coming up out of that valley of the shadow of death was a long slow climb, or should I say, it took Him a long time in that process to put me back together the way HE wanted me. That old religious nature in me was not easy to fix, but HE was up to it. I liken it to the children of Israel being delivered from Egypt in a very short time, but to get Egypt our of them took 40 years and a lot of dying. But Got finally had a people of a NEW generation that He could work with that was free of their idolatry and were willing to obey His leading. It was then that they were allowed to cross into the Promised Land.

      Be sure, Mark, that it will happen and know that God is willing to give us a few “two day follow-ups” when we need it as He did with Israel once they were inside the land. He is a good and loving Father to us even when we don’t understand His ways.

      Thanks for sharing your journey with us,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark says:

        Thanks you for your response. You put a few things in focus for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        I am glad to hear that, Mark. It is always good to hear that all the things I have been through under God’s hand are helping others. I know that He has the same in store for you.
        Michael

        Like

  9. Patricia Lelión says:

    Amén a esta bella enseñanza…”TODO VALE LA PENA”, así el camino sea de espinas, al final nuestra recompensa es Él. Gracias mi amigo Michael por esta palabra que llega profundamente a mi vida.

    Abrazos mil, tu hermanita Patricia

    Patricia wrote:

    Amen to this beautiful teaching … “EVERYTHING IS WORTH IT”, even if the road is made of thorns, in the end our reward is Him. Thank you my friend Michael for this word that reaches deeply into my life.

    Hugs a thousand, your little sister Patricia

    Liked by 1 person

  10. sabrina says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I used to read your articles way back when and then when I went to track them down recently, I found that you had been writing here. What you have shared here about being planted together in his death is wonderful and ties in so much with where the Lord has lead me. I was immediately reminded of John 12:24. Unless a seed falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies (is planted) it will grow and bear fruit. When we are willing to be planted with Christ, in His death, then we can die to ourselves. But that’s not the end, we then come out of the “ground” in resurrection life. His real life is the life that lives in us and we can bear fruit and never, ever be alone, but be united forever with Christ. Such a beautiful picture. I had been reading versions that didn’t use the word “planted”, but used the word “united”, which is also good, but the word “planted” just brought a whole new meaning to me and connected it with some other things the Lord has brought me through. Thank you for sharing what the Lord gives you to share.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Sabrina, I am glad you were able and willing to track us down again. 🙂 To be planted IN Christ in the likeness of His death or “united” IN Him though it is a wonderful revelation to take hold in our hearts. We can be united (the key word here is “unit”) with Him as His body, members not only of Christ but members of one another, THAT is an amazing experience and rarely found in man made churches. To be organically united with Christ as our Head, as our organs are organ-ically united and one in our bodies and totally dependent on one another, is what God is after. God created everything as an example of those things which are spiritual and the human body is one of the most perfect example of anything He made. I am glad that you are a member of the Body of Christ and listening to His voice.
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to sabrina Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s