“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.” Galatians 5v24
At Good Friday we traditionally reflect on the cross and the suffering Jesus underwent on it for us. On the cross he was “pierced for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53v5 TNIV) He has paid the penalty for us. And now we have a choice. We can ignore it completely. We can glance at the Cross, ask for forgiveness then walk on by the same way as we always have, and keep making the same mistakes, slipping over the same stumbling blocks. Or we can stop, and nail our sinful nature, with all its evil passions and twisted desires to the Cross and leave them behind us, walking on without the burdens that slow us down in our walk with God.
What are the acts of the sinful nature? Paul makes it clear in verses 19-21 of Galatians 5: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
Can you honestly say that none of that is evident in your life? That you have not sinned in any way? If so, the Bible says in 1 John 1v8 that you are deceiving yourself: “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth”. Paul makes it clear in Romans 3v23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (NIV). And the only way to be made righteous is to accept God’s forgiveness, made available through Jesus’ death on the Cross.
Maybe you have accepted that forgiveness. Maybe it all started well. But then slowly over time the old you started slipping back. You started giving into temptations. Sin slowly crept back into your life. But as you called yourself a Christian you were ashamed to admit it to anyone, maybe even to God. Today, as you spend time thinking about the Cross, nail your sinful nature to the Cross with Christ afresh. He died to take the punishment for our sins. We don’t have to carry the weight of sin around with us. Whatever you are carrying today, nail it to the Cross, and leave it there. No matter where you are in your walk with God I am sure you have some excess baggage that could do with being left at the cross. So today, take the opportunity to do it. Jesus has paid the price in full. So what are you waiting for?
No matter what you have done, you can have forgiveness. If you have backslidden, or compromised your faith, you can have fresh forgiveness. And what better day than today? Let the blood that has been shed by Jesus on your behalf wash over you and make you righteous. Let it cover over your past sin, and then resolve to go and sin no more. And if you do slip up, don’t carry it around with you, nail it to the cross, and don’t go back to it.