Do you have a hard time throwing away old shoes? I do. Whether it is hiking boots, dress shoes, or sandals, I usually feel a bit apprehensive about letting go of what is familiar and comfortable. Getting rid of the past is hard for many of us. The past is where we used to live and where our memories reside. But our Scripture today reminds us that while we remember and even treasure the past, when we become a follower of Christ, we have a new identity in Him.
Paul reminds the Christians in Colossae that Jesus’ resurrection changed everything. Because Christ was raised, those who believe in Him have a new life and new identity. Paul urges followers to set their hearts and minds on things above and not on earthly desires and passions (vv. 1–2). Paul is obviously not referring to physical death in verse three when he states, “For you died,” but rather the fact that they have put their old life and former ways behind them. Their new life is now concealed or “hidden” with Christ (v. 3). Paul repeats this truth in verse four by stating that when Christ appears, believers will also appear with Him in glory which is only possible by being found in Him.
In the original language, Paul begins verse five with the word “therefore,” but the active imperative Paul stresses is “put to death” anything and everything that belongs to worldly ways. Because of their new identity in Christ, believers are to abandon their old lives and be renewed into the image and likeness of God our Creator (v. 10). Holding on to the past is easy, but living for Christ is so much better.
>> What are some old ways of living that have either crept back into your life or have been hiding from sight and need to be renewed? Even though it
is hard to fully get rid of the past, your new identity in Christ is worth it.
The past testifies to your work in our lives, reminding us of what you have delivered us from. Father, help us to move forward in your righteousness, looking back only to praise you.