Christ Conquers Death
Bishop’s Desk - April 2018
It is with Jesus joy that I greet all of the precious children of God in this Easter season. Truly, God continues to demonstrate His divine favor upon His people.
As we begin this month, we do so in the acknowledgment of our Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary and His ultimate victory over death in His resurrection. The Gospel, the Death, Burial and Resurrection of our Lord, is the very foundation of our salvation. St. Paul writes in Romans one and verse sixteen, “…it is the power of God unto salvation….to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” It is the means by which deliverance from hell is made available to people of every nation. His death provides the payment for our sins and then “takes them away” (John 1:29). Since all have sinned, Jesus’ death pays a debt that none can pay for themselves, if we would only believe.
But thankfully, the task is not left half done. Our relationship with Him is not confined to the cross. Rather, it culminates in an empty tomb, for the one we serve conquered death by rising from the dead. It is so interesting to me that the way He defeated death was by succumbing to it. Looking at Calvary, most would have thought “end of story; death wins again.” but not so with Jesus. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15). He went through death, hell, and the grave purposely to emerge victorious.
This is the basis for our salvation, indeed, our brand new lives in Christ. Look at the condition that St. Paul attached to our salvation in Romans four and twenty-four: “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Just as the righteousness of God was “imputed,” or accounted to Abraham, also now it will be imputed to those of us who believe on Him that raised up Christ from the dead. We must believe that God raised Christ from the dead and that He will raise us also. The condition of salvation is faith in God and the fact that He raised Christ from the dead. How exciting is that? To know that death does not have the last word. Rather, it belongs to Him who declared, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). This is the basis for our faith, our walk, and our “world view.” This world and the death that dominates it, is all subject to the power of the risen Christ. He has indeed conquered death.