“…for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is you life is revealed, then you will be revealed with him in glory.” (Colossians 3.2-4) And not one second before or one second too late.
I have been going through the book of Colossians for the month of January with the Youth Group. But I don’t think that these verses had been worked into my heart, even though I had read them so many times before. What does it mean that I have “died with Christ”?
I watched a movie the other day called, October Baby. The movie was about a college girls journey to discovering who she ‘really is’. But the heart of the movie was really about forgiveness. There was a scene were the girl found her real mother, who had attempted to abort this girl, but the abortion failed and the girl lived, but the girl never knew her biological mother. The scene was powerful because the girl first attempted to reconcile with her mother, but the mother could not face the girl. She pretended the girl did not even exist. It was as if the girl was aborted all over again. The girl struggled with this interaction with her biological mother and as a result found herself in a church. The pastor listened to the girls painful story and told the girl that she needed to forgive, as Christ has forgiven her. It’s interesting because somehow we are revealed with Christ through forgiveness. As a matter of fact in verse 13 of this same chapter in Colossians, Paul says,
“Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, you also must forgive.”
It’s funny because sometimes seems so trite, like there must be more that we need to do. But for some reason, the verse from Colossians came alive to me when the girl forgave her mother. I could not stop crying. It was such a powerful moment because I know what it’s like to hold onto hate. The girl struggled with so many emotional, psychological, and physical issues with her body. When un-forgiveness gives birth to hate, it not only affects us spiritually but physically. But when Christ who is the ‘forgiveness of God’ is revealed, then our lives, “hidden with Christ will be revealed with him and not just revealed, but ‘revealed in glory’. Our lives can literally be healed, spiritually, emotionally, and physically when Christ is revealed. And this girl’s biological mother was overcome by the power of forgiveness being offered, Free of Charge.
It seems that so many people want to take matters into their own hands and bring some form of change themselves. Usually this happens because people have been hurt and hurt very deeply. This hurt can bring contempt for any situation which may be perceived to remind a person of the previous situation. But if we simply wait for Christ to be revealed in each and every situation, we will find that we will be shocked to the core at who God chooses. We simply do not know what God is doing, but if we trust God in Christ, then we can see the exact moment when the revealing will happen.
We can simply not bring about ‘change’. We can not change anything, but what we can do is live the crucified life that Christ has given us to live. If we live a crucified life then we do not pursue the selfish ambitions which distance us from each other and the forgiveness which Christ offers. The saddest aspect of our society is that we have seen over and over again that people’s lives are never changed through legislation. Only forgiveness can transform a society. When my heart is softened and my will is flexible to God’s will, Christ will be revealed and change will become a reality.