‘Since, therefore, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.’
(Colossians 3 v. 1 – 4)
Here, again, is the close identification with Jesus’ death and resurrection – as Christ rose from death, so we have been raised ‘with Christ’.
Paul urges us to set our hearts and to set our minds ‘on things above’, not to get bogged down with the pressures and struggles of this world, but to keep focused on Jesus.
I love the phrase ‘your life is now hidden with Christ in God’; we talked at some length about it on Monday night’s Bible Month gathering (I do recommend you come to the last one, next Monday, even if it’s the only one you manage – it’s been such a positive, fruitful time together).
For some, this phrase ‘hidden with Christ in God’ spoke of protection, of safety and warmth and intimacy – like the mother hen enveloping her chicks beneath her wings.
For others, it spoke of our lives being completely enclosed, embraced within Christ – He lives in us and we live ‘in Him’.
We also spoke of ‘dressing up’ or wearing a mask to hide behind, taking on the identity of another, and how we are urged in other places to ‘put on Christ’, to wear His cloak of righteousness – certainly, because of Jesus and the cross, God sees us differently, sees the perfect you and me ‘in Christ’.
Finally, how powerfully strong are Paul’s words – ‘Christ, who IS your life’? We died with Christ, we are raised with Him, and He is our very life, breath, oxygen, blood flow.
We owe Him everything, and only exist through, by, with and ‘in Christ’.
PRAYER : use Tim Hughes’s song ‘Everything’