We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:10
I always thought this sounded kind of gruesome: carrying around the death of Jesus. After being flogged, Jesus would have been a bloody mess. But we’re not hauling a dead body around. Paul says we carry around the death of Jesus “in our body.” It’s something inside — something that is a part of us — something that we are. What could that be if it isn’t our sin, our failure, our rebellion against God? It was our sin that caused Jesus’ death. It was our sin that distorted humanity and brought death into the world. It is our sin over which the whole creation groans today. And even though we are forgiven, saved, and washed clean, as long as these bodies of ours are on this earth, we still carry around the death of Jesus in them, because that’s what these bodies are: they are the death of Jesus.
So even though we are vessels filled with the light of Christ and bound for heaven, these vessels are still dying and susceptible to the downward pull of the earth, so they are vulnerable to all the common frailties we experience as human beings. Becoming a Christian doesn’t separate us from this body of death. We won’t lose this until we die. Until then, they both exist together — these weak, failing bodies we have, and the light of Christ that lives inside. But that’s okay because, as this verse indicates, the life of Jesus will be revealed through us and more easily seen because of the contrast. Notice the word “also” in this verse. That’s an important word that indicates people will see our broken humanity and the life of Christ at the same time. Both will be revealed in us and that’s just as it should be.
There is a huge error in traditional Christianity and much of the Christianity displayed today in the church and in Christian culture. That is the idea that becoming a Christian is supposed to make you a better person. It’s supposed to “fix” all your problems. Some people find it very hard to adjust to the fact that they didn’t lose that body of death when they became a Christian. They missed this part where scripture that tells us that we still carry around that dead body. Yes, it may be dead, because it was crucified with Christ, but it’s still around, and it’s not going anywhere until we die. Besides, the message people get when they see the whole truth about us, good and bad, brings more glory and focus on God than the message we put out when we try to let everyone believe that we got everything fixed when we came to Christ.
Come see everything that lies inside me
‘Cause amidst the mess I’ve made of me
You might see the Lord
‘Cause He’s in there movin’
Got a knife and He’s prunin’
Cuttin’ out the old man
Bringin’ in the new
And it’s foolish to fake it
So I’m lettin’ Him take it
“Cause He said I’d be like Jesus
When He’s finally through
From the song “Inside” by John Fischer