– INYANG OKUTINYANG
The Power of Identification
We see the power of identification all the time. In high school whenever your favourite school team went to play a sport, they represented you. When they won, you said “We won!” You didn’t play, but you identified with the team and told everyone that you won! That’s identification. And Jesus, though He was God, became a man and identified with us, and that act qualified Him to become our substitute.
Jesus was our substitute in His sacrificial death, but we were there too.
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
33 This he said signifying by what death he should die.
We usually think of this verse in terms of praise and worship. But Jesus wasn’t talking about praise and worship here. When Jesus was suspended on that cross between the heavens and the earth, He drew all humanity unto Himself. You were there in Him. Because He was our substitute, we were there.
When you look at the cross, don’t just see Jesus dying. He didn’t die for Himself; you should see yourself there. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus was a group picture of the whole of humanity – suffering, dying, humanity. When you first saw the group picture of your high school graduating class, the very first person you wanted to see was yourself. Similarly, when you look at the cross, you should immediately see yourself there, for you were in Christ and you died when He died!
Remember the old song, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” Yes, we were in Him when He hung on that cross, in Him when He died, and rose victorious from the grave! The Bible calls Jesus the second and the last Adam, for He is the Father of a brand-new race of people called “saints”. Adam was the father of a fallen race of people called “sinners”.