We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
2 Corinthians 4:10-12
This is one of those parts of the ministry that no one wants to talk about. But it’s a vital part of being effective for Christ.
You’ll never understand how the life of Christ is working in you until you first understand His death. Paul knew and embraced this truth.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
The true path to a powerful ministry is learning to carry the death of Christ within you. What do I mean by that? Do we walk around with a sad look on our face like some kind of spiritual Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh)?
Absolutely not! The death of Christ is an inward realization. We carry the death of Christ so that His life can be revealed in us. Carrying His death, yet revealing His life – that’s one of the great paradoxes of ministry.
As believers, we love to focus our attention on Jesus and His resurrection. The power that was revealed on that day sealed our redemption. That truth is beyond question.
What we fail to realize sometimes, is that the resurrection is the Good News for those who are without Christ. The cross, on the other hand, is Good News for the church. Paul explained this in his first letter to the Corinthians.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18
Without the resurrection, we couldn’t be saved. But, without the cross, we couldn’t walk in the power of God. We need both to be effective for Christ.
I once posted a series on the power of the cross. To read it, click here.
Paul understood the value of carrying the death of Christ in his daily life. It was the foundation for the power he walked in. That’s what he’s referring to in the last line of the original passage we looked at above.
Please understand that he’s talking about himself and his ministry team. It’s because they allow the death of Christ to do its work in them, that they can reveal the life of Christ to the church. The Corinthian church is walking in the life of Christ because Paul and his team were obedient to the call to die to self.
We need a new revelation of the cross of Christ. Then we’ll see the power that was manifest in the early church.
Question: What part does the cross of Christ play in your daily walk with God?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi