JESUS HAS CONQUERED DEATH
Long ago Job asked, “If mortals die, can they live again?” (Cf. Job 14:14). We expect death, but we always have a glimmer of hope that medical science will discover something that will keep us alive a little longer.
Death carries with it a certain dread. From the day that Abel
was killed, people have dreaded death. It has been the
enemy, the great, mysterious monster, that makes people
quake with fear. The Bible always links sin and death. It says
“the sting of death is sin” (1 Corinthians 15:56) and “through
one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and
thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans
Death stalks the rich and the poor, the educated and the
uneducated. Death is no respecter of race, color or creed. Its shadow haunts us day and night. We never know when the moment of death will come for us.
Is there any hope? Is there a possibility of immortality?
I take you to an empty tomb in the garden of
Joseph of Arimathea. Mary, Mary Magdalene and
Salome had gone to anoint the body of the
crucified Christ. They had been startled to find
the tomb empty. An angel sat on the stone by
the door of the tomb and said, “I know you are
looking for Jesus.” Then the angel said, “He is
not here; for He is risen” (Matthew 28:6).
The greatest news that mortal ear has ever heard
is the news that Jesus Christ has risen from the
dead as He promised! The resurrection of Jesus
Christ is the chief proof of the Christian faith.
It is the truth that lies at the very foundation of the Gospel. Other doctrines of the Christian faith are important, but the resurrection is essential. Without a belief in the resurrection there can be no personal salvation. The Bible says, “If we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, we will be saved” (Cf. Romans 10:9).
In the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have the answer to the great question of the ages: “If mortals die, can they live again?” The Bible teaches that because Christ lives, we also shall live. The greatest truth that you can ever hear is that Jesus Christ died but rose again, and that you, too, will die but can rise again into newness of life.
The Bible teaches the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is not a spiritual resurrection, as some would have us believe. Jesus’ very body was raised by God from the dead, and someday we will see Him.
The resurrected Christ also lives today in another very real sense: in the heart of every true believer. Though He is in His glorified body in Heaven, yet through the Holy Spirit He dwells in the heart of every Christian. The Scripture says, “Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in His glory” (Cf. Colossians 1:27). The Christ of God, in whom “the fullness of God lives in a human body” (Cf. Colossians 2:9), condescends to live within the hearts of people. This is a mystery that is beyond comprehension and yet gloriously true.
When we come to Jesus Christ, we bring everything that we have. Our bodies with all their members, our faculties, our talents, our time, our money, our possessions, our hearts, our will, are all His.
Our faces become the faces in which the resurrected Christ shows forth His beauty and His glory.
Our eyes become the eyes of the resurrected Christ,
to exhibit His sympathy and His tenderness. He
wants to look on the world’s needs through your
eyes. Your eyes should never be lent to the devil;
they belong to God. Be careful how you use your
Our lips become the lips of the resurrected Christ,
to speak His messages. The harsh, unkind words
remain unspoken. Other people marvel at the
gracious words that come out of our mouths. When
He was on earth, the people said, “No man ever
spoke like this Man!” (John 7:46). And this is the
One who lives within you. Your lips become an instrument for the expression of His message. His words are spirit and life. The word going forth out of His mouth cannot return unto Him void. Remember, your lips are His; they should never be lent to the devil.
Our ears become the ears of the resurrected Christ. They will be sensitive to every cry of spiritual need. Jesus living in us today listens through our ears and hears the plaintive cry of the world’s needs. Take heed what you hear. Refuse to hear the voice of the tempter or give your sanction to the spread of false reports and idle rumors concerning others. Your ears are Jesus’ ears; never lend them to the devil.
Our minds become the mind of the resurrected Christ. The Scripture says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Cultivate spiritual thinking. Your intellect becomes His so that He may plan through you and you may be an instrument for the realization of His purpose. Yield your mind to Him so that you may know His secrets and be kept in His will. Never lend your mind to the devil; the mind is the devil’s favorite avenue of attack.
Our hands become the hands of the resurrected Christ, to act on His impulse. He will work through us. The living Christ dwells in our hearts and gives us power to live the victorious life. The Apostle Paul said that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is ours to enable us to live for Him!
The feet of the Christian need to tread the narrow path that the Savior trod, keeping in step with Him throughout the earthly pilgrimage. He lives in you. Let your feet direct you only to those places where Christ wants you to go.
We are to allow the resurrected Christ to allocate our time as His own; to control our money as His own; to energize our talents, our zeal and our ability with His resurrected life; to have complete right-of-way throughout our beings. He does not want an apartment in our house. He claims our entire home from attic to cellar.
Not only does the resurrection give us hope of immortality but it also provides Life with a capital “L” here and now. Before the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit came upon individuals only on certain occasions for special tasks. But now, after the resurrection, Christ through the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer to give us supernatural power in living our daily lives. The Scripture says that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead on the first Easter will raise us from the dead if the Spirit lives in us. Call upon His resources. His grace is more than sufficient; He will cause you always to triumph over the world, the flesh and the devil.
Perhaps you do not know the power of the resurrected Christ.
You have never knelt at the foot of the cross and had your sins
forgiven. On that first Good Friday, Jesus Christ died on the
cross in your place. He took your judgment, your sin, your
death. Scripture teaches, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). The Bible says, “The blood
of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
On the third day Jesus was raised from the dead. That fact is
a guarantee that the atoning work of Christ on the cross was
acceptable to God in your place.
Now you need to receive Him and to believe on Him. God says that He will clothe you in His righteousness. Everyone can know the power of the resurrected Christ. Through disappointments and trials, through all the circumstances of life, the resurrected Christ will go with you, if you will put your trust in Him by faith.
At this glorious Easter season, what a time to give your life to Christ, to bend your will to His; to let the resurrected Christ come to dwell in your heart and give you supernatural power to meet the problems of the day. So many people are confused, lonely, discouraged. Give your life to Christ. Let Him transform your life so that you will have a glow on your face, a spring in your step and joy in your soul.
First, you need to renounce your sins. Second, by faith receive Him as your Savior. Will you do that today? If you will, the resurrected Christ will come to live in your heart!
©1965 BGEA (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57