I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
What I love love about this verse is how it is in past tense. Notice how the words, “I have.” This speaks of something that has been done. When you finish paying your car off, you stop sending payments to the bank. You say, “I have paid my vehicle off.”
It is all about the cross. Christ was crucified in my place, so that I can live. He was crucified, and I was crucified. He rose again, and I rose with him! Of course I wasn’t literally there and didn’t die physically, Christ was my substitute.
Think about baptism for a minute. When a person is baptized, they are symbolically buried with Christ (they go under the water), and they are raised with Christ (they rise out of the water). Keep in mind, we don’t have to be baptized four or five times. We have been crucified with Christ once. We don’t have keep going back into the water each time we sin because it was a payment, “Once and for all” (Hebrews 10:10).
The moment you believe in Christ, you are forgiven and set free. What were we freed from? We were freed from the punishment of sin. All of our sin was placed upon Jesus. Remember Jesus isn’t going to die again, so He made one payment of sin, “once and for all” (1 Peter 3:18). He died and the sin went with him, but when He rose again the sin wasn’t with Him. Romans 6:11 tells us, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” This word for, “sin” in this verse is actually a noun. We were once in bondage to sin. Now Christ has redeemed us from that cell.
Galatians 2:20 does not say we were crucified and stayed that way. This verse is saying that we were crucified, and now we are alive with Christ! Like water baptism, we’re crucified at the cross and were raised with Him. Christ took our bondage so that we could take His freedom.