“…in this small act of dying, I loved my wife differently. I realized that in Philemon and elsewhere, Paul was re-enacting the gospel, Jesus death for us. The word for means the weight of our sins comes on Jesus. Paul uses for when he defines the gospel:
“The Lord Jesus…gave himself for our sins.” (Galatians 1:3-4)
“Christ died for our sins.” (I Corinthians 15:3)
So just as Jesus substitutes himself for us, we substitute the pieces of our lives for others. Now I understood how Paul could “fill up what was lacking in Christ’s afflictions” (Colossians 1:24). Jesus death was once for all. His death for my wife was finished—mine was ongoing. I could substitute myself for pieces of her life.
“For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.” (II Corinthians 4:11-12)
Seeing this pattern of substitutionary love reoriented my vision of what it was to be a Christian.
Paul Miller — J Curve