Baptised into Christ the old self crucified with him


“It is well to bear in mind how Jesus’s instructive prayer concludes. “For yours is the Kingdom, yours is the power, yours is the glory. Forever.”

Is my prayer Kingdom-worthy?
Does it recognize God as the only power there is?
Does it give Him all the glory?


“I have been crucified with Christ,”

Paul writes to the Galatians. He touches on the same idea in Romans 6, where he says of all who have been baptised into Christ, that

“our old self was crucified with him.”

Jesus himself originated the idea, telling us that anyone who would follow him must take up their own cross and follow him—clearly meaning to follow him to death, on that cross.

But there was one, and only one, disciple who was literally, physically crucified with Jesus. He is usually called “the thief on the cross”. The Greek words used to describe him and his partner mean criminal (Luke), and plunderer (Matthew and Mark). Not merely thieves, which would be a different word, but violent armed robbers.

Does it come as a surprise that I suggest one of them was a disciple? Listen to what he says:

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying,

“Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

But the other rebuked him, saying,

“Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”

And he said,

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:39-42)

This is a confession of faith, and a truly astounding one at that! This criminal believed:

  1. Messiah would come.
  2. Jesus is the Messiah.
  3. Messiah had to die, though innocent himself, for the sins of others.
  4. He would be raised.
  5. He would return as king.
  6. He would have the power to raise the dead.
  7. By confession and faith, sinners can be saved.

How many disciples were there who had this degree of understanding at this time? Besides this criminal, it seems only Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus grasped it. The criminal’s level of understanding establishes that he had been a follower of Jesus, and not only absorbed his teaching, but went way beyond what the twelve grasped. And he believed it.

So what happened?

Although we aren’t told, can we not understand? It’s not as though there aren’t other examples of people’s faith collapsing. Of the people who knew the Lord best, who had followed him and listened to him for years, who believed he was Messiah: Judas sold Jesus out, the other eleven ran away, Peter denied he even knew Jesus. People fail, even when we know better.

It is not hard to imagine a former robber, genuinely reformed, a true follower of Jesus…but unable to get a job, getting sucked back into his old way of life. Can we not see ourselves here? We each have our own relapses. The inspiring thing is that Jesus welcomes and rewards confession and turning back to him. This criminal, knowing better, had become a truly bad man, had gone far away from what he knew — but even he is welcomed back, Jesus recognising genuine repentance.

There is hope, then, for all of us. But we must be crucified with Christ. The old life has to end. Even if we have relapsed, it is not too late to pick up the cross and rejoin him. As he said, only by losing our life, can we find life.




Redemption #6 Partaking his sacrifice

Redemption #7 Christ alive in the faithful


Additional reading

  1. To follow Christ
  2. Matthew 10:32-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: I Came to Cause Division
  3. Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self
  4. Demanding signs or denying yourself
  5. Cross-bearing
  6. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  7. Making sure to be ready and to belong to the escaped ones
  8. Salvation and Righteousness
  9. The one who makes us well and gives life
  10. Today’s thought “What sort of people ought you to be …” (December 15)
  11. Calvin’s view on taking up the cross
  12. Prayer for the day



  1. Crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:19-21)
  2. The End of Me
  3. The Paradox of Dying With Christ
  4. Living the Christian Life
  5. April 26th – Luke 23:32-43Appointment With a Thief
  6. The Thief on the Cross
  7. How does the thief on the cross fit into your theology?
  8. I Knew the Thief On the Cross. Part 1 of 2
  9. I Knew the Thief On the Cross. Part 2 of 2
  10. Apr 27 Your attention, Your abundance
  11. The Stabilizing Power of Jesus Christ
  12. Chasing Your First Experience with Christ
  13. Christ Says, “Repent!” Repent from What? “Sin.” How Do I Do That?
  14. Living in Spiritual Union with Our Savior
  15. All the Parts are Present

Over Christadelphians

Free Christadelphians or Brothers and sisters in Christ, living in Belgium, European Union. - Vrijë Christadelphians of Broeders en zusters in Christus wonende in België in de Europese Unie.
Dit bericht werd geplaatst in Being Christian, Jesus Christ Jeshua Messiah, Life and Death, Thought & Reflection en getagged met , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Maak dit favoriet permalink.

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