Echoes From the Campfire

A man can learn anything he sets his mind to, if he wants it bad enough.  That’s the hitch, I supposed:  wantin’ to.”
              –Elmer Kelton  (The Man Who Rode Midnight)

    “Then he spoke to them all. ‘If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, carry his cross every day and keep close behind me.'”
              –Luke 9:23 (Phillips)
Take a minute and look at how personal the following verse is.

         “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
                 –Galatians 2:20(NKJV)

The “I”s and “lives” are throughout this verse.  This past week I was reading and happened to come across something that I read sometime ago and wanted to use in the Echo but for some reason I forgot.  It is from a commentary from Romans by James M. Boice and Denise K. Loock concerning this verse in Galatians.

         “Dr. Boice referred to a second century recipe that described the process of making pickles because the recipe of the same Greek words Paul used in Romans 6:  The cucumbers were first dipped into boiling water (they died), and then they were immersed [made alive] in a vinegar solution.  The immersion produced a permanent change in the cucumber.
         The pickle example works for Galatians 2:20 just as well as it works for Romans 6.  If Paul had been talking to cucumbers instead of to the Galatians, he might have said something like this:  You are no longer cucumbers.  In fact, now that you have been boiled in the water and immersed in the spiced vinegar, you will never be cucumbers again.  You are now pickles.  Your outward appearance may seem the same, but your insides have been totally changed, permeated by the spiced vinegar.  Your cucumber days are over.  The spiced vinegar has produced a permanent change in you.
         Now I know that sounds a bit silly, but the point of my paraphrase is accurate.  Once we have been “immersed” in the precious blood of the Lamb of God, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We can’t go back to our former state any more than a pickle can climb out of its jar and return to the vegetable garden.  And even if the pickle could do that, it would not be able to re-attach itself to the cucumber vine.  It would simply rot on the ground.  What pickle would make that choice?  And why would any Christian want to return to his former lifestyle, either?”

I like that idea.  We are now permeated with the spiced vinegar of the Holy Spirit.  You are changed.  You now have a different use, a different flavor.  The plainness and bland flavor of the cucumber is gone, and now there is an explosion of flavor that comes from us because of the Holy Spirit.