Rejected ‑ Slain ‑ Raised
By Larry White
May 19, 1985
Jesus said in LK. 9:22, "The son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes and be slain, and be raised the third day."
For his disciples, Jesus simplifies the remainder of his ministry in three words, viz. rejected ‑ slain ‑ raised. He then immediately applies this to his disciples in verse 23. "And he said to them all, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.'" This is just one of the many aspects of Christ's death on the cross: his self-denial. And now those who follow him cannot get by with anything less than self-denial.
There is a very strong negative in the life of a Christian. Indeed, the person who comes to God must also himself be rejected and slain. Paul says in Romans 6:4 "We are buried with him by baptism into death." In Rom. 6:6, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him." In Gal. 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ." In Gal. 6:14, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord. Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world."
There must be a death, our own death. The Christian life demands that we deny ourselves ‑ as Jesus did; to say 'No' to ourselves ‑ as Jesus did. Today we live in a society that says 'No' to nothing. Our culture has a mind centered around 'things' and around 'self'. We're pressured on every side not to hold back, not to deny ourselves any pleasurable lust and satisfaction our hearts can desire. We have come to the point where to say 'No' is looked upon as unnatural and fanatical, as arrested behavior that should be pitied or laughed at instead of respected.
But the person who comes to Christ must be willing to deny himself; to say 'No' to our lust; to say 'No' to our pride; to say 'No' to our selfish ambition and our being self-centered. We must be willing to submit ourselves to the will of God. Our hearts must say along with Jesus when he was in the garden, "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done."
This death and rejection of the Christian from the world happens initially in baptism when we begin our new life in Christ. But it doesn't stop there. Jesus said, "take up his cross daily". We must everyday, anew, be willing to be rejected by the world and crucify our lusting flesh and pride. The world is in open rebellion against God and we are called upon to come out of the world. Therefore we cannot continue to seek the world's approval and try to be respectable to them. This, I know, is a strong negative and a hard and uncomfortable stance to take. But if we are to grow at all into the likeness of Christ and go on to completeness and maturity, that stance must be taken ‑ once for all ‑ in our minds. I am crucified with Christ and the world is going to hate me and reject me for it.
But now we can go on. Along with this strong negative comes a much stronger positive. It's the other part of the good news of the gospel. Jesus was rejected ‑ slain ‑ but then he was raised.
This one amazing fact gives us a whole new perspective from which to view the negative side. Rom. 6:10 "For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God."
Jesus knew that when he died to the world he would be raised to walk in a new and powerful life. We also have that same expectation ‑ after that we have been baptized. "For if we have been planted together (with Christ) in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." Rom. 6:5
We have died to sin and to the world by going with Jesus into the tomb and being buried. We have also a new and powerful resurrected life that we live unto God, like Jesus has ‑ but now ‑ now in our daily lives in the midst of the world. We have been raised to walk in newness of life. Our newness of life is our new spiritual life that we now live through faith. The life that Jesus lives now, he lives unto God. This new life that we now live we also live unto God. Our physical lusts in our members are not the important things in our lives anymore ‑ in fact they are actually detrimental to our life. Therefore we should not allow these things to have dominance and dominion over us, for they are not important to our living and are not strong in their control over us. For we understand now and know what place they have had in our previous lives.
Picture a man who has died, maybe like Lazarus. He's been buried and is now in company with the angels in heaven. All the glamour and tinsel of the world, all the pleasure and pride, the rat race of greed and success, the sorrows and fears, the goals and expectations of the world all seem very narrow and small and short-sighted now, compared to the wonder and awe of the eternal, the everlasting realities of living with God. It all seems so small and vain now ‑ so unimportant. With his new perspective, the perspective of God, he can see what the truly important things are in this life. But now, Jesus raises him from the grave and he suddenly finds himself thrust back into this vain world. Will his life ever be the same? Could he ever be caught up again in this rat race? Could he ever again be deceived and dazzled by the tinsel or seduced by the pleasure? He understands now; he knows how vain and empty and drugging the world and its lusts are. Rom. 6:12‑13 "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof…" "but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead..."
We Christians must have that perspective for we do have that knowledge. We should be like people who are alive from the dead. Not fashioning ourselves according to the former lusts in our ignorance. (1Pet. 1:14)
Walking in the spirit is acting upon the knowledge that we have with faith. It's looking beyond the things that are seen to the things that are unseen, and acting upon them as real. Our own eternal spirits are not physical, neither is our God. This world is going to pass away along with its lusts. We should feel like strangers and pilgrims here. Nothing here is permanent, but he that does the will of God abides forever. (1Jno. 2:15‑17)
Walking in the spirit is living unto God. We have a powerful new life by the grace of God. We live for him, we speak his word faithfully, our activities are in the spiritual realm where he is, and the issues we face and for which we strive are spiritual issues.
Walking in the spirit is humbly applying our spiritual knowledge. There's a deep reality of brotherhood with fellow children of God who we love deeply when we walk in the spirit. Our perspective shows us that there is nothing to gain by our envy and pride. We have the eternal life; we have it all; there isn't anything to be defensive about. We can rejoice and have joy in the spirit because we've been raised. "If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God... But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another seeing you have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him... Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering... And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. Col. 3:1‑3, 8‑11, 12, 14