Trading the Old for the New


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If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things

that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

- Colossians 3:1-3 ESV

I don’t know which is ringing louder in my ears: the heartbeat pounding in my chest or the slam of the hammer echoing with each hit to the nail. Fear of the unknown pushes sweat to the palms of my hands, making it difficult to keep a firm grasp on the hammer. The rusty nail rests on an old, crumpled up piece of notebook paper. On it, I had written down every part of my flesh that needed to be crucified.

I shielded them with my hand so that no one else would see what I was writing down: my emotions that are so quick to skyrocket, my tongue that is too quick to speak. Impure thoughts, lingering temptation, my mind that is constantly comparing, and a heart that revolved around my own self. The list continued on, growing more specific with every stroke that came from my shaking hand. I wrote down every last thing that came to my mind, despite my quickening heartbeat. I folded the paper quickly and allowed myself a moment to take in the sight of the cross in front of me.

The blood-stained crown of thorns lingered at the very top. I tried to count the amount of thorns, but the number quickly clouded in my mind. For every thorn I saw a reason as to why I was unworthy of such a salvation. The wood wasn’t smooth or polished, but rather it was rugged, covered with a hundred different splinters.

The paper in my hand is being crumpled as anxiety prevents me from being able to stay still. As I stand in the light of the cross I see just how completely unworthy I am of this love. The arms of the cross outstretched before me in the most perfect display of love. Feeling small and timid, I grasp the hammer in one hand and roll the rusty nail around in my other. I place the paper on the cross and pull the hammer back.

“He canceled the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.” - Colossians 2:14-15

I let the hammer fall onto the nail. I felt the weight of the blow course throughout my body. It pierced the paper, causing a shattering ripple effect through every burden that’s ever attached itself to my heart. With every inch the nail was driven into the cross and with every ounce of blood shed through the crown of thorns, all of the charges that any man could ever hold against me became invalid. It’s as if a weight has been lifted off my chest and I can finally breathe again.

My shame no longer stands a chance. As I nailed that symbolic paper to that old rugged cross, images flashed through my mind of being made new. Images of everything I wrote down were crucified in my mind as the precious blood of my Savior cleansed me from the inside out. It is only by that cross that I am able to be made new in Christ.

It’s only because of what He did for us on the cross and His deep love that we are able to claim His victory as our own. It’s only through His blood that we are made new. We exchange our old life for a new one in all of who He is. Leave the old behind and chase after the beautiful new life that can only be found in Jesus.

Reflection

1. What parts of your old self are you still holding on to? Some things in life have to be laid down every single morning, or even every hour. But His mercies are new every morning and He continuously shows us grace. We just have to be willing to surrender and willing to chase after Him.

2. How does your life look different since finding your new life in Christ? How can you continue to look more like Him in your everyday life?

Prayer

Lord, we can never thank You enough for what You did for us on the cross. Thank You for letting Your love run so deep that You were willing to send Your Son to the cross for the sake of making us Yours. You see our tainted hearts yet You love us the same. Help us to remember to keep our eyes set on the things above. The things in this world cannot even begin to compare what we have in You, Lord.

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