"He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again...
2 Corinthians 5:15
In the centre of this passage is Christ the Liberator. What does He liberate us from?
Of course it is self. Paul who knew this through experience , not just theologically, knew what it means to become hooked on yourself. To become your own centre is to empty your humaity of its meaning.
There has never been a more empty life than the one which has itself as the centre. You simply have to take the throne of your personality and sit on it, and you are conspicuously too small. It was never meant to be your throne. We were created in His image, not our own image; therefore whenever I take the centre of my personality and sit on it, I am conspicuously out of place. I am simply too small for the throne of that personality.
I can't meet my own desires. That is why you find that the very gifts which make us human have become the very danger which tears us to pieces. That is why desires - sexual desires, desires for prosperity, desires for success, desires for good living - these all come like little gods, fighting for your throne, and each one demands it must be the one.
Of course I can't manage myself. This is the miserable experience Paul knew. He understood that when life becomes its own centre, it simply runs in meaningless circles. So we need a Liberator to liberate us from this meaningless circle; this business of making myself the centre. And on the cross the tremendous happening took place. The cross is where God liberates men from themselves and gives them a completely new centre.
"He died for all men" and that is how the Liberator liberates us from the narrow centre.