The Greatest Victory

My Post (36)

“There is a preacher of the old school but he speaks as boldly as ever. He is not popular, though the world is his parish, and he travels every part of the globe and speaks every language under the sun. He visits the poor and he calls upon the rich. He preaches to people of every religion and of no religion, and the subject of his sermon is always the same. He is an eloquent preacher, he often stirs feelings which no other preacher could, he brings tears to the eyes that never weep. His argument, none are able to refute, nor is there any heart that has remained unmoved by the force of his appeals. He shatters life with his message. Most people hate him, but in one way or another, he makes everyone hear him. His name? DEATH. Every tombstone is his pulpit, every newspaper prints his text, and someday everyone of you will be his sermon.”

With all of our scientific progress, the mortality rate remains at 100%.

In time, death finds us all.

Decades ago, the famous London preacher, Charles Spurgeon apparently insisted that the Church Bible that normally remains open should remain closed on a particular Sunday morning service. When it was time for the Bible reading, he stood up and said:

“Some of you have found fault with me. They say I am old fashioned because I am always quoting from the Bible and don’t say enough about science and psychology.  Well, there is a poor widow here in this congregation who lost her only son, a fine young godly man. She wants to know if she will ever see him again. Let us turn to science and psychology for the answer. Will she ever see him again? Does death end all?

There was a long pause as Spurgeon waited for an answer from the congregation. When no one answered, he added, “We are waiting for an answer. The woman is anxious to know.” After another long pause, he spoke up saying, “If there is no answer, then let us open our Bibles…”  To affirm his point, Spurgeon began to read the promises of God in regards to eternal life.

Jesus died a gruesome criminal death on a cross, the most unjust death that ever occurred in all of humanity, time and history. After Jesus was dead and buried, He defeated death by rising in all His omnipotence on the third day. Jesus rose from the grave, never to die again so that everyone anywhere in the world will know that He alone is able to conquer the greatest and the most powerful enemy – death.

The entire word of God from cover to cover makes it very clear that the cross of Christ and the empty tomb are inseparable in God’s plan of salvation. The crucifixion and the resurrection are inseparable, they are like the two sides of a coin.

  • By His crucifixion, Jesus paid for the sins of all who will believe in Him as their only Saviour. And by His resurrection, He gives the power to defeat sin, guilt and the grave for the believers.
  • By His crucifixion, Jesus became the lamb of God who took the punishment that is rightly ours so to save us from God’s judgement. And by His resurrection, He became the Lion of Judah and qualifies those who believe in Him to reign and rule with Him for all of eternity
  • By His crucifixion, Jesus reconciled us to His Father, after by nature we were enemies with the Father. And by His resurrection, He adopted every believer to be His brother and sister and assures us of a place in His Heaven.

The resurrection of Jesus is the very core of the Christian faith. It is very core of our only hope. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we can say with the apostle Paul, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:55-57.

Horatio Spafford was a prominent Chicago lawyer who committed his life to Jesus Christ under the ministry of Dwight Moody. In 1871, the great Chicago fire financially ruined Horatio Spafford. It was almost the biggest trial of his life but not the biggest. His son died at the age of two. Fast forward to 1873, His wife, Anna and his four daughters sets sail to England. Their ship, Ville du Havre collided with another ship and sinks very quickly. Horatio’s wife, Anna, survived but all four girls died. He hears about the accident, and he receives a telegram from his wife containing only two words, “Saved Alone.”

Horatio gets on a ship and heads to be with his grieving wife. During his voyage as he passes over that part of the ocean where the girls went down. From the depth of his incredible pain, from the darkest and deepest agony of his soul, the light of praise manifested itself as he expressed it in these words he penned down:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrow like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well. It is well with my soul.

The song which has been a blessing to millions of people all around the world reveals a supernatural peace that passes all understanding that can come from only one place – the cross of Jesus Christ. Horatio knew that Christ loved him, he saw it in the cross, and when he gets to the end, he has Christ coming back with a great triumph, not to judge him but to save him and to raise his daughters from the dead. This blesseth assurance in Christ alone is his only Joy right in the midst of sorrow, and his reason for declaring:

“It is well with my soul.”

Our resurrection is one of the greatest assurances that God gives to those who believe in His Son, Jesus. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, only those who would put their trust in Him will be risen with a glorified body like Jesus. We will exchange this decaying diseased body for an undefiled eternal body. We will exchange the body that is capable of dishonouring God with a body that would long to honour God all the time. We will exchange the bodies that are weak to resist temptation, disease, brokenness with bodies that are completely immune from sickness, disease, pain, and temptation. We will exchange the natural body for a supernatural body.

“Into Your Hand, I commit My spirit.” – Psalm 31:5

Countless numbers of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ throughout generation have prayed this prayer right before they closed their eyes in death and went to be in the presence of the Lord. Our Lord Jesus Christ died with this same prayer from Psalm 31:5 on His lips right before taking His very last breath. When Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, “Father, into Your hands I deposit My spirit.” Where were his hands? They were fastened to that rugged wood of a cross. His hands were not free. The hands of wicked evil men hung and nailed him to that cross.

If you carefully examine those last words of our Lord Jesus, you would soon conclude that it was not a cry of defeat, but a cry of victory; It was not a cry of being conquered by death but a cry of conquering death; It was loud enough so the angels in heaven would hear it; It was loud enough so that the demons below may heed it; It was loud enough so that the mocking crowd may take note of it.

I know some other translations use the word commit, but there is a reason why I use the word deposit. The word deposit is used when you leave something somewhere and walk away from it knowing assuredly, and trusting that when you come back, it would be there intact.

Jesus knew he was about to go into paradise where all of the Old testament saints and believers were waiting. For believers, this paradise is where our spirits go to after we die. It is not the final and future heaven, the eternal heaven that Jesus promised to prepare for us because, John writes in Revelation 21:1 that when the new heaven comes, the old heaven will be swept away. Our father, Abraham was looking forward to this city (the new heavens) that has foundations, a city designed and built by God (Hebrews 11:10).

By depositing His spirit into His Father’s hand, it means that, on the third day, Jesus will rise from the grave with a glorified body; and that for 40 days, he will walk, talk and commission them; and on the 40th day, they will see him on the mount of Olive rising up into heaven; and at the same time the angels will say to them, that this same Jesus is going to come back to judge every human being that has ever lived because, never again would he be in our hands, but we would be in His Hand.

It is mind-boggling to me how everyone of the Lord’s disciples gladly suffered and died for Jesus. It is mind-boggling because, a little earlier, those same guys ran away in fear and left Jesus all alone. But the resurrection changed all that. His resurrection gave power to a cowardly group of men historians have said turned the world upside-down for the love of Christ.

The evidence of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ was witnessed by at least 500 eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6). Believing the fact of the bodily resurrection and trusting the resurrected Christ can determine your eternal future. And since there are only two places where you can spend eternity, think very carefully and very thoughtfully. To believe in the Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t mean just believing that He existed or believing that he was a good man, No! The word ‘believe’ means to totally surrender to Him, and that He becomes the Lord of your life.

I cannot tell you that when you come to Jesus, all your problems will be over, I cannot tell you that. But I can tell you this most assuredly, that when you come to Jesus Christ in repentant and believing in Him, He will give you a purpose and meaning for life. I can tell you most assuredly, he will give you the power to overcome. The apostle Paul tells us as he writes to the Ephesians that when Christ comes into your life, the same power (the Spirit of the Living God) that raised Jesus from the dead will come to dwell on the inside of your mortal body. Living in the power of the resurrection is far greater than all of the challenges that this life can throw at us.  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

I know my Redeemer lives! I spoke with Him this morning.