As we saw in the last lesson, I identify with Christ in the gospel. But what does it mean to identify?

While this word has different meanings, the one that applies here is “to consider oneself as similar to another.” In essence, it means to connect in some way with someone else. People do this all the time: we identify with a specific group, a cause, a subculture, a church or a sports team (to name a few). And most often, this connection that can be seen in our outward life is a reflection of what’s going on inside us. We choose to identify, say, with a political party because we agree with its values.

This is why we use the word identify – identifying in this way helps define who we are. It helps determine our identity. So as Christians, we can see the importance of identifying with Christ. In fact, that’s a good part of what makes us Christians.

Now, we can only identify with Christ because God identifies me with Christ in the gospel. We see this in the Scriptures we looked at in the last lesson (Col 1:19-22 NLT, Col 2:11-12 NLT). This was all His idea!

Even though Jesus’ death and resurrection happened 2,000 years ago, I experienced what He experienced in a very real sense. If we miss this, we miss the essence of the gospel.

What did Jesus experience at that time?

  • He was crucified
  • He died
  • He was buried
  • He was made alive
  • He was raised up in His glory
  • He was seated at the right hand of the Father

In our next lesson, we will see how we identify with Jesus in these.

 

Consider:

What groups or causes do I identify with?

How does this affect others’ perception of me?