“For you died” (Col. 3:3). Ecclesiastes expounds what it means to be dead with Christ:
“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward and even the memory of them is forgotten. Their love, their hate, and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun. […] Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom” (Eccl. 9:5, 6, 10).
Unlike the living, who anxiously anticipate death, the dead in Christ are no longer enslaved by the fear of death (Heb. 2:15). The dead know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). They have no further reward. Whatever was gain to them they now consider loss for the sake of Christ (Php. 3:7). The dead in Christ are new creations. Old things have passed away. The memory of what they were is forgotten, and we no longer know them according to the flesh (2 Cor. 5:16, 17). Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions—love, hate, jealousy—and desires (Gal. 5:24). They have no part in anything that happens under the sun because the world is crucified to them and they to the world (Gal. 6:14). In the world, activities are pursued with might, striving, ambition. But the dead in Christ rest. Christ’s energy works powerfully in them (Col. 1:29). Christ is living in them and is doing His work (John 14:10). Dead men do not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through them (Rom. 15:18). In Christ, there is no working, planning, knowledge, or wisdom. Christ has been made for us wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30).
–Excerpted from my booklet, “Reflections on Colossians 3“