During the three-and-a-half years of our Jesus’s ministry, our Lord was crucified in a figurative sense; that is, he was daily delivered up to death – his will, his talents, his all were sacrificed – to follow his Father’s will. Every deed of his by which “virtue [vitality, life] went out of him” (Luke 6:19) to bless and heal the condemned sinners about him, was part of his dying, and finally ended in the literal death of the cross.

The Apostle Paul was not literally crucified but ended his course by being beheaded. Yet figuratively he tells us long before his literal death, “I am crucified with Christ.” That is to say: “I am delivered up to death – my will and self-control, my talents and powers, my rights and lawful ambitions as a man, are all sacrificed. Daily (1 Corinthians 15:31), I vow to subdue my body and wishes (1 Corinthians 9:27) to permit the holy spirit or mind (will) of the Master dwell in me and rule my every act to his service.” Christians follow Jesus’s prayer, “Not my will but thine (Father) be done.”

As with our Lord, so with the Apostle Paul, crucifying did not mean the crucifying of a sinful will, or sinful desires, plans, etc.; for he says “I am crucified with Christ,” and elsewhere he calls it being “dead with Christ” and having “fellowship in his sufferings.” So then if Christ’s crucifixion was not the crucifixion of a sinful will, and desires, neither was Paul’s; and neither are yours and mine as followers of the spotless Lamb of God, crucified with him.