Updated: Jun 4, 2022
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3 NLT). The Greek meaning of hidden in this verse is cover, conceal, and keep in secret. The word life is the Greek word zoe, meaning eternal life. How can our lives be hidden with Christ?
It’s helpful to read Bible verses in context, noting the verses before and after the one of interest. Colossians 3:1-4 (NLT) reads since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
The new life that Paul is writing about is the redeemed life we receive upon accepting Christ’s forgiveness and salvation. The old life of sin is dead, and our new life is an eternal (zoe) life. He encourages us to set our sights on heaven's realities and think about the things of heaven, not earth. When we realize that we have eternal life, it is thrilling to think about where that eternal life will take us. The cares of this world slip away as we ponder the grandeur and rewards of heaven, where we will spend our eternal life. How much have you thought about heaven lately? It completely changes one’s perspective.
Have you ever lost yourself in an intriguing book? The plot captivates your mind and seems to take you away to a world perhaps more exciting, peaceful, or lovely than your everyday world of routines, schedules, and responsibilities. Before you know it, you’re lost in the story, escaping to another place.
So it is to think about the things of heaven, not earth. Father God, Jesus Christ, Old and New Testament saints, family and friends who have passed into heaven, our mansions, praise and worship of unparalleled magnitude—the list of glorious aspects of heaven is endless. And all await us!
But why and how are we hidden in Christ? The process of hiding occurred at the cross when the judgment of God passed by sinners upon encountering Jesus, God’s perfect sacrifice. There, Christ hid us from the wrath and judgment of God. Jesus was not hidden from God’s wrath; He was completely naked and unprotected. One author writes, At the cross, the full, unbridled wrath of God came down upon Jesus, and, in that moment of judgment, there was nowhere for Jesus to hide. No fig leaves or shade trees. No mercy, no grace, no compassion. Jesus, for us, is exposed to the all-consuming expression of sin’s cruelty and the wrath of God. No friends come to defend Him; no lamb is offered in His place; no one negotiates His release. (Hidden with Christ, Eric Watkins, Tabletalk).
Christ hides us through His finished work on the cross. We are human and will continue to sin, but His sacrificial death is completely sin-proof, and nothing can separate us from His love and forgiveness.
Picture yourself hidden—kept in secret—from God’s wrath and judgment. It gets even better, for, in that secret place, we are encouraged and invited to think often of the marvelous place that Jesus is preparing for us in heaven! Hide me, O Lord, in Your holiness. Every sin I now confess. Praise to You forgiving Lord; hide me in Your holiness. Hide me in Your holiness (Maranatha Music).
© 2022, Chris Werre