During the Matins service this morning we prayed the following Collect from The Treasury of Daily Prayer:
"Lord Jesus Christ, You released many from their bondage to sin, death, and the devil as the healer of the nations. But when it came time to release You, the crowd chose a murderer instead. Through our co-crucifixion with You in the waters of our Baptism, may we continually be released from our sins as we confess You to be our everlasting King; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forerver. Amen."
I found the prayer startling. It sounded odd to say "co-crucifixion." But I have been thinking about it since and if we take what St. Paul writes in Romans 6 seriously (and how else would one take it?) then it makes perfect sense.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.