9For in him (Jesus) the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Colossians 2:9-15
I spent a summer in Iowa working with a church youth ministry. It was a challenging and rewarding experience. I learned lots, met some people who changed the trajectory of my life, and picked up some new english expressions. The students would hear about a plan or even an errand I was running and they would ask,“Can I go with?”
It felt familiar with the hopefulness of family; but always expressed a question, an uncertainty. I have never been able to see and hear the word “with” the same way.
We need inquisitiveness and hope when we read the Scripture’s words “in” and “with.” When the Apostle Paul uses “in” and “with” he expresses the mystery of the Gospel and the reality of our life with Jesus the Risen King. It is an answer to the question of our longing for God and the humility or shame that wonders, “Would God really want to be close to me?”
To be Christian is to be in Christ Jesus for He is in us. We are with Him now and for eternity participating in His life, death, and resurrection. To be in Christ Jesus is to be immersed into the communion of God without shame for He has fundamentally altered who we are at the heart of who we are. Once we were dead to God, but now we are alive. Once we were outsiders but now we have been included. Once we had a record of failure and sin that stood against us, but now we are pardoned and free.
Jesus wants you to be with Him. His desire for you required a cross. The cross takes the question “go with?” and makes it a reality for now there is no guilt, shame, fear or threat of accusation equal to the glory of being “in Him” by His invitation.