When we read Jacob's words to his sons on his deathbed (Genesis 49:1–33), we might notice his words to Benjamin are a little strange:
[as] a wolf will he tear to pieces; In the morning he will devour the prey, And in the evening he will divide the booty (Genesis 49:27)Benjamin is a wolf, you don't want to turn your back on Benjamin.
I really think scripture has the flesh in mind when it talks about Benjamin. We've all got some of that Benjamin in us. And make no mistake, it's a ravening wolf.
Scripture tells us the stories of two different men from Benjamin named Saul. In the old Testament we have the story of the Saul the son of Kish, the first king of Israel. He was a great man. There came a day when God told Saul He was going to replace him with another man (1 Samuel 15:26), and Saul resisted and fought against that plan until the end, when he died on Gilboa (1 Samuel 31:4–8).
In the New Testament we have the story of another Saul, a Pharisee from Tarsus. He, too, was a great man. There came a day when God told this Saul He would replace him with another Man, and Saul agreed with God that this was a good idea (Galatians 2:20). Rather than fighting God's will to have another Man in his place, Saul went along with the plan. Like the earlier Saul from Benjamin, he had a lot of boast about. Unlike the earlier Saul, he realized that what God really wants is only found in one Man (Philippians 3:3–11).
Like the two Sauls, we find out that it's God's plan to replace us with Christ. Christ has died in our place, and God's plan is that He should live in our place too. I can't see another way to understand Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ, and no longer live, *I*, but Christ lives in me." The real question is, how do we respond to that? The first Saul resisted, the second Saul capitulated. It's not at all a stretch to say that we have that same choice to make.
The essence of the gospel is Christ in my place. Christ in my place under God's judgment brought forgiveness – Christ in my place as alive in this world produces a walk worthy of our calling. I need to meditate on this more.