The world seemed to be at its darkest. For those who had followed Christ, they sat in their homes, fearing that the rulers and authorities would come after them. After all, their leader had been crucified on the cross and whatever rebellion had been coming was dispelled. The followers of Jesus Christ had gone into hiding. Even beyond the imminent threat to the lives of the followers, from their perspective, the Savior and coming King had failed his mission. Death was not supposed to befall the one who would come and overthrow the world. How were they supposed to cope with the death of the Savior, the King, the ruler over all? Where the life of Jesus seemed to end, life seemed to continue with the realization of His death.
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”
– Luke 24:1-7, NIV
Everything changed in that moment. Suddenly the teachings of Jesus Christ became more clear than they ever had before. He was not to be King of Israel but King over all creation. Jesus was not to be the Savior of the people from Roman rule, but the Savior from the people over the grasps of death and sin. There is nothing else left to conquer. Not even death could contain Christ. As we identity with Jesus Christ in His death burial and resurrection, we too can have the security of knowing that we have an eternity with our Savior and King who rescued us by His love and grace.
Death Is Not The End
Everyone at their basic and most default state is a sinner. It is not until God sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for our sins that we are able to be pulled our from the grips of our sinful nature. Previously, we would have been condemned fully to die from our sins. There is no exception to Holiness and no lesser standard. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross did not lessen the requirements of Holiness but raised us up to meet it’s standards. Our life is redeemed and the punishment of death is lifted.
With the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can rest assured that death will not be the end. Unfortunately, there seems to have been a rise of martyrs of the Christian faith. ISIS has openly targeted and published videos where Christians have been beheaded because of their faith. Yet, for however scary this circumstance may be, time and time again, they met their fate with calmness and peace. They knew that whatever may be done for them, death is not the end. We are saved from our sins and not even death will end me. Just as Christ is raised from the dead, when I am fully in Him, I raise with Him, conquering death by the grace of God.
Dying for my sins would have been more than enough for God to undertake on my behalf. However, Christ did not stop here. With not even death being able to restrain Jesus, we are promised the opportunity for eternal life. Jesus goes before us advocating on our behalf to our Heavenly Father. Where the death of Christ freed us from our sins, the resurrection of Christ firmly rooted us in the promise of eternal communion with Him.
The life of Jesus Christ gives us the opportunity to live beyond ourselves. Where previously we were subject to the death of sin, we are conquered no more. Instead our eternity is secured through Jesus rising from the dead and sitting at the right hand of the Father. Just as we became unified with Christ in His death, we are unified with Him in His life. The life he offers is one of being reborn. Our home is secured in eternity as we commune with Him in perfection and holiness. We live because He lives.
Talk About It
- Imagine you are one of the followers of Jesus. You have heard that He is alive. Having endured the events of the week, how would you respond?
- What does it mean that not even death can hold Jesus back?
- How does Jesus impart that same strength and authority over death to us? How do we receive the authority?
- What was the response of the women who saw the tomb? What was the response of the disciples? How does this compare with our response to the good news that Jesus is alive.
- We are saved from death and stand with Christ in the throne room of heaven. Yet, we all go through times where we are scared or embarrassed to live for Him. In what way does knowing the strength of what Christ has done help us to live beyond that?
- How can we represent the resurrection to our world, our community, and those around us?