when you were dead

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:13-15

Sometimes I read these verses and I just shake my head. Partly at the wonder of what it is Jesus has done and partly at the wonder of why we still live like we do. Look at the language used here. Almost all of it is past tense.


When you were dead…God made you alive.


He forgave…he cancelled…he has taken away


He disarmed…he made a public spectacle…


It’s done. Or as Jesus said, “It is finished.” There is no more to be accomplished and all our past mistakes and heartaches have no hold on us any longer. Too often though, I notice that these amazing facts don’t affect our daily lives nearly as much as they should.


Old habits, old behaviors, past attitudes and destructive ways of interacting with others—that’s not who you are any longer. When you accept Jesus as the one who forgave, cancelled, and took away. When you see him as the one who disarmed and is triumphing over all that old stuff in your life, then you are not those things any longer.


Did you notice that the only language here that isn’t past tense is the last act? “Triumphing over them by the cross.”


All our baggage, all our past, has been taken care of. It’s been forgiven, the debts we’ve accumulated with God are cancelled. The only thing still being done is the winning. And it’s being done over and over again. Day after day.


When Jesus died on the cross and brought about all the forgiving and cancelling and taking away, it wasn’t just so we could look forward to heaven some day, but also so we could live today. And live without the weight of past sins and pains. Live without the guilt or self-disappointment that comes from choosing wrongly and living wrongly.


As you go your way this week remember, when you were dead, God made you alive. He forgave, he cancelled, he has taken away. You aren’t dead any longer. You are forgiven and he is triumphing over it all.



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