[We are] always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh (2 Corinthians 4:10–11, esv).
Why is Jesus alive today? Stop and consider this question.
Yes, He’s alive because He rose from the dead. Yes, He’s alive because He is God and “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24, niv). But why? What purpose does His present life serve?
Payment for sin is complete; that’s a past accomplishment. Someday He will rule the earth; that’s a future promise. But what about today?
Over and over the New Testament tells us Jesus is actively making intercession for us. He comes before the throne of heaven as our mediator, and He makes requests before the Father for our moment-by-moment needs.
Today Christ lives to bring His victorious power to bear upon our character. Not only does He offer victory over sin and death and extend forgiveness to all who believe, He also wants to live His life through us. That is what Christian living is all about—“That the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
The true Christian life is Christ in you. It’s a brand of living far superior to the Christ-in-my-own-strength program, which only leads to disappointment, exhaustion, and failure. Jesus is the only one who ever lived the Christian life successfully.
Christ has made no provision for you—on your own, in your own power—to live the Christian life. You can seek knowledge and understanding. You can serve, worship, and walk with Him. But you have zero power or personal strength to resource true, full obedience. There’s nothing in you that can enable you to live for the Lord; not an ounce of strength, not a smidgen of will power, not a thimbleful of perseverance to make Christian living possible.
The only source of power is the exchanged life—Christ living through you. Your part is to get out of the way and let Him. When you do and people see spiritual life in you, whose is it? It’s Christ’s, not yours. If people see anything worthwhile in your life, if there is anything eternal and lasting, it is the actual life of Christ flowing through you.
The only true resource, the only power for lasting transformation, is Christ in you. This powerful, simple truth can absolutely change your life.
Consider this a turning point, an invitation to the exchanged life: Christ living in you. It begins with honesty, admitting your sin and powerlessness to live for the Lord on your own. Because of His death, once you die to yourself, “the life of Jesus” can be manifest in you.
Lord, I am so weak. Every day of failed effort to live a righteous life is painful and a penetrating reminder of that fact. Today I turn as never before to You alone. I die to myself by faith, and today, Lord, I trust You to live Your life through me. Please help me to reflect the truth of the exchanged life: Christ in me. Thank You that You are alive to intercede for me today. In the strong name of Jesus I pray, amen.