For we know that our old self was crucified with [Christ].
For a young woman by the name of Anne Greene, the year 1650 was a year she would never forget. Falsely accused and wrongly convicted of murder, Anne Greene faced the gallows. The hangman carried out her execution. Immediately afterward, the coffin bearing her body went to a team of doctors for medical research. Upon lifting the lid, however, the doctors detected faint breathing. They rushed to do everything possible to revive her, and in so doing, they saved her life.
The consensus among all involved was that her official execution had taken place; there was no need to pursue the matter further. As a result, Anne Greene enjoyed a full and free pardon. Displaying an extraordinary sense of wonder about her indescribable experience, she took her coffin as a souvenir, settled in another town, got married, and raised a family.
In Romans chapter 6, the apostle Paul tells us that our official execution has taken place as well. When Jesus went to the cross outside the city walls of Jerusalem, God took all the sins of my old self and placed them on his Son. This means that, as far as God is concerned, my old identity as a lost sinner is no more. It’s no more because a first-century crucifixion detail carried out my execution just outside the city walls of Jerusalem. And now, through faith in Jesus, I enjoy a full and free pardon. Jesus’ death has washed my old identity away. I stand forgiven. A fresh, bright future now awaits me. And beyond that is eternal life in heaven.
One more thing. On the day of her execution, Anne Greene labored under massive debt. Afterward, however, Anne received more than enough contributions from others to wipe her debt away. In our crucified and risen Lord, the debt of our sin is gone, too. It’s official.
Lord Jesus, in God’s eyes my old identity as a guilty sinner is no more. The old debt of my transgression is gone. My life is now fresh and clean and new. Move me to live it for you. Amen.