Perhaps some will ask, "How can we experience it is no longer I who live? How can `I’ be eliminated?" The answer to this question lies in the first part of Galatians 2:20: "I am crucified with Christ." If I am not crucified with Christ, I cannot be eliminated. If I am not crucified with Christ, I am still I. How can I say, "It is no longer I"? Only those who are "crucified with Christ" can say, "It is no longer I."
In order for our crucifixion with Christ to become experiential, there is the need of cooperation from two sides. It is impossible to experience this crucifixion if there is cooperation on only one side; cooperation on both sides is essential.
Our inner eyes have to be opened. When Christ was crucified on the cross, God put our sins on Christ and crucified them on the cross. This is God’s side of the work. Christ died for us and took our sins away. This occurred more than nineteen hundred years ago, and we believe it. Similarly, when Christ was crucified, God put us into Christ. Just as our sins were settled more than nineteen hundred years ago, our person was also dealt with at the same time. When God laid our sins on Christ, He also put our person in Christ. On the cross our sins were removed. On the cross our person was also dealt with. We must remember Romans 6:6: "Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him." We do not have to hope to be crucified with Christ. We have been crucified with Him, forever and unchangeably crucified with Him. God has put us into Christ. When Christ died on the cross, we died on the cross as well.
If you take a piece of paper, write a few letters on it, and then tear the paper apart, you tear the letters apart as well. You are tearing the paper, but as the paper is torn, the letters are torn. The Bible tells us that the veil of the temple was embroidered with cherubim (Exo. 26:1). When the Lord died, the veil was split (Matt. 27:51), and therefore the cherubim were split as well. The veil refers to the body of Christ (Heb. 10:20). The cherubim had the face of a man, the face of a lion, the face of an ox, and the face of an eagle (Ezek. 1:10; 10:20). This signifies all created beings. When the body of the Lord Jesus was split, all the creation in Him was split as well. He died that He might "taste death on behalf of everything" (Heb. 2:9). The whole old creation passed away with Him. You have been trying in vain to do good and to be a successful Christian for years. Now God has crucified you with Christ. When Christ was crucified, the whole old creation was split, and you were split as well.
You have to believe in this truth. Your eyes need to be open to see that your sins were upon Christ and your person was also upon Christ. Your sins were on the cross, and your person was also on the cross. Your sins were taken away, and your person was also crucified. All this has been accomplished by Christ. Many people fail because they keep looking at themselves. Those who have faith should look at the cross and see what Christ has accomplished. God placed me in Christ. When Christ died, I also died!
But why is this "person" still living today? Since you have been crucified, why are you still living? To solve this problem you must believe and exercise your will to identify yourself with God. If you are looking at your own "self" every day, hoping that it will improve, this self will become more alive; it will not die by itself. What is death? When a person is so weak that he cannot be weakened any further, he has died. Many people do not admit their own weakness. They are still demanding so much from themselves. This means that they are not yet dead.
(New Believers Series: Our Life #16, Chapter 1, by Watchman Nee)