Celebrating Jesus' victory over sin, hell and the grave
If the Easter story had simply ended with Jesus’ tragic death on the cross, we would have absolutely no reason to rejoice. If it hadn’t been for Resurrection Sunday, our faith would be utterly useless—nothing more than an empty hope. But it wasn’t the end. In fact, it was only the beginning of a new, abundant life for all those who believe. Because Jesus walked out of the grave victorious over sin, hell and death, we who belong to Christ share in the glorious victory that He has won for us.
For a long time, it appeared as though death was the most powerful force in the universe. Even today, it is a very real reality that all of us have been deeply affected by. Death was never part of God’s original plan for His creation but because of original sin that entered the Garden, death became the penalty for our disobedience and created a giant rift between us and God… that is up until Jesus’ death and resurrection.
“I am the first and the last and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore and I have the keys of Death and Hades." Revelation 1:17-18
As Jesus’ body lay cold and lifeless in the tomb where He was laid to rest, His Spirit descended into hell to conquer the final enemy: death. On the third day, He was raised to life by the Holy Spirit, triumphantly holding the keys of death and hell in His hand! He is alive forevermore and all things are under His feet. As believers, we no longer have cause to fear evil and no, not even death because He conquered it all when He resurrected from the dead.
Over the last two years, COVID-19 has utterly gripped the world with the fear of death. But fellow Christian, may I remind you that because Jesus rose again, our physical body may die but our spirit will live on for eternity in a restored relationship with our Lord and Saviour. It can be hard to believe this because of how destructive death has been in our lives but just because we have trouble believing it sometimes, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. The hope of the believer is that while we will suffer all kinds of hardship in our earthly life, sin, all the forces of evil and even death itself no longer have any power over us. In fact, to die is gain because it is through death that we come face-to-face with our risen Saviour.
On this Resurrection Sunday, let us take hold of the reality that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead now lives within us. Let us give all us give all due honour and praise to King Jesus, our mighty Victor who redeems, restores and raises dead things to new life. Today He reigns supreme, forever glorified and seated at the right hand of the Father. May the victory of the empty tomb compel us to live the bold, abundant life that He died so that we could gain.