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Belief is a true attachment that fastens believers to their Savior in ways unknown to the human eye.

As I Was Saying is a forum for a variety of perspectives to foster faith-related conversations among our readers with the goal of mutual learning, even in disagreement. Apart from articles written by editorial staff, these perspectives do not necessarily reflect the views of The Banner.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the answer is a resounding “yes.” 

We who believe in Christ are more than simply adherents of a religion. The Bible describes belief in Christ as belonging to Christ. Our bodies themselves are members of Christ by the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 6:15,17). According to Jesus, “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:5). As the image suggests, believers are joined to Christ, alive through him, deriving all nourishment from him, and producing fruit from him. Belief is a true attachment that fastens believers to their Savior in ways unknown to the human eye. 

This attachment is not only true for the believer’s moment in time. By believing in Jesus, we are mysteriously joined to him in such a way that we share his past, his present, and his future. 

Believers have been crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6) to the point where we can say “I no longer live” (Gal. 2:20). In fact, without any qualifiers Scripture declares that we have died (Col. 3:3). In baptism, we were buried with him (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12). Of course, we are also raised to life with him (Rom. 6:5,8; Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:12-13; 3:1). 

In other words, you were there. When Jesus was nailed to the cross, when he said “It is finished,” when they laid his body in the tomb, and when he rose again on the third day, you were there with him. By faith, his story becomes your story.  

Theologians call this the “mystical union” with Christ. Christians call this their only comfort in life and in death. 

Belief is the Source of Life in Christ

It is this uniting belief in Christ that joins us to the source of all life. Even if our heart stops beating and our lungs no longer breathe, our attachment to Jesus Christ means we will continue to live even when our bodies expire (John 11:25-26). This is the eternal life of our salvation in Christ.

More than the afterlife, union with Christ gives life for the present moment. Outside of Christ, we live a life described in Ecclesiastes. We strive to survive. We seek pleasure and avoid pain in a “meaningless” rat race of existence that will soon disappear from all memory. Yet Jesus came to give us a life beyond surviving and pleasure. In him, we know love that is perfect and everlasting. In him, we build a kingdom that won’t die with us. We serve heavenly purposes with eternal results. 

Even at this very moment, believers are seated with him in the heavenly places at the right hand of God the Father almighty (Eph. 2:5-6). There’s no greater honor than to be invited to sit at the highest seat of all time with the Ruler over all things. By ourselves, we are sinners with no reason to boast. United with Christ, we share in his honors. The world can say what it wants about our looks or meager achievements. We have everlasting honor from someone who knows us better than we know ourselves. 

Not only that, he gives us direct access to the One who calls all the shots. If I tried to call the president of the United States, I wouldn’t actually get to talk with him. He has no reason to pay attention to what I have to say. United to God’s only Son, we share his special relationship with the Father. God has every reason to hear us because we are part of his beloved Son, and unlike any human ruler, God calls all the shots. Moreover, when praying, we don’t need to shout into the sky. United with Christ, we are already at his right hand in heaven. We can talk to God as if he were sitting beside us because this is literally the case. 

Tied with Christ’s Story

Union with Jesus Christ makes us into a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). We retain our names, addresses and birthdates, but we become a Christ-like version of ourselves. This is not for the faint of heart. Believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior is to take the red pill on your entire life. Personal sin is no longer an indifferent matter. 

Having been crucified with Christ, we not only feel pain when others sin against us. We feel the anguish from our own pride and greed and hatred. We come to despise our own sinful habits. We also discover that these old habits are dead and dying. Having died with Christ, the envy, malice, lust, and selfish indulgence start to fade. In their place, fruits of love, peace, kindness, and others emerge from within. Instead of the arrogant cheating liar, we become humble servants who live generously and joyfully. With the eternal delights of heaven on the horizon, the treasures and pleasures of earth become insignificant. Sharing earthly resources for heavenly treasure becomes a reflex (1 Tim. 6:17-19). Facing insults and even harm because of the union with Christ becomes a reason to rejoice (Matt. 5:11-12). 

Faith in Jesus Christ makes his story our own story with life-altering results. Can you feel his nail-pierced hands when you cave to temptation? Do you sense his resurrected life as you show kindness to the unkind or sing praise even when sorrow is in your heart? As you bow your head to pray, do you feel the honor of sitting in heaven’s highest seat with the King of kings? When you read of Christ’s passion and resurrection, are you reading about some guy a long time ago, or are you reading your own story of salvation? Read his story as also your story, because if you believe, you were there.


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