Defeating Death: He is Risen

The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1Co 15:26 ESV)

Death is such an enemy.  The fear of death drives so many decisions in our lives.  We have safety standards, guidelines, practices to avoid injury and death.  We have medical systems, doctors, clinics, pharmacies, hospitals to avoid sickness and death.  We have fire departments to avoid fire and death.  We have police departments to avoid injury, theft, arson, and death.  We have caregivers to protect our loved ones from injury and death.  Some of us secure our homes to avoid robbery, injury and death.  Many of us have guns to protect ourselves from robbery, injury, and death. Avoiding death drives many decisions in our lives.

But one man has defeated death.  He talked the walk and walked the talk and he defeated death to make the same available for us.

As Peter said on the day of Pentecost:

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Act 2:22-24 ESV)

This is Jesus the man, our brother, the firstborn among many brethren:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.(Rom 8:28-29 ESV)

This is the emphasis of original Christianity, that Jesus the man led the way for us to be able to claim eternal life by what he accomplished for us and helped us to become.  What ever you think of Jesus in the magnificent quest, remember this:  He did it for us so that we can be like him and with him in heaven.

Jesus’ humanity is clearly and plainly  emphacized over and over in the writings.  He was born.  He grew.  He got tired, he got annoyed, he got mad, he marveled, he cried.   He labored long and hard.  All of that helps us identify with him.  He was truly flesh and blood in every sense.

And now we are like him.  If you want to talk about his divine nature then you need to talk about our divine nature because we are like him, he’s our older brother! If you want to talk about his power and miracles then you need to talk about how that same power is in you because its Christ in you, the hope of glory.  If you want to talk about Jesus with the Father in heaven then you need to put yourself in that picture because we are seated with him there:

even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  (Eph 2:5-7 ESV)

Praise the Lord!  For he is risen! And he is with us. And we are with him. Now!

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