Impossible to Be Held in the Power of Death
Reverend Dr. Philip Lee's sermon from the Easter Sunday Service on April 21, 2019
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is God the Son, and yet the Word became flesh and God came to this world as a man (John 1:14). Jesus has perfect humanity and divinity and mysteriously, both exist in Him. This is why Jesus is perfect God as well as perfect human. Due to our sins, there is a separation between us and God; therefore we cannot go to God (Isa 59:1-2). Thus, we need a mediator between God and the fallen man and Jesus became that bridge (mediator) that links fallen mankind to God (1 Tim 2:5). Satan, the devil, killed Jesus on the cross and bound Him with the rope of death. However, it was impossible for Jesus to be held in the power of death. Therefore, no matter how much death tried to bind Him, or hold Him back, Jesus will break forth. So, today when we believe in this Jesus, His death and resurrection become our death and resurrection (Rom 6:3-4). Today, Jesus is no longer held by the power of death, for He overcame death and rose so that we may overcome death and surely be victorious.
Jesus brought dead back to life
When we look at the three years of Jesus’ public ministry, there were many occasions where He brought the dead back to life. Among them, firstly, there was the only son of a widow whom Jesus brought back from death. As Jesus came upon this funeral procession for the widow’s son, He comforted the widow and said to her, “Do not weep” (Luke 7:13). Likewise, when we are weeping, when we are full of sorrow and tears, our Lord speaks to us also and says, “Do not weep,” for He will take full care of us. Jesus came up and touched the coffin and spoke to the young man saying, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” (Luke 7:14). This man, who clearly was dead, sat up and spoke to Jesus (Luke 7:15). Here, Jesus broke loose the power of death to save the dead.
Secondly, Jesus saved the daughter of Jairus who was a synagogue official. Jesus said to the daughter of Jairus, who was clearly dead, “Talitha kum!” meaning, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” (Mark 5:41). The dead girl sat up and immediately began to walk (Mark 5:42). Jairus in the Greek language means, “He will teach him” or “enlighten him.” Therefore, Jesus enlightened Jairus, teaching him that He is the one who brings the dead back to life.
Thirdly, Jesus brought back Lazarus from the dead who lay in the tomb for four days (Luke 11:39). After having the stone from the tomb removed, Jesus spoke and said, “Lazarus, come forth” (Luke 11:43). And Lazarus who had died came forth (Luke 11:44). The common thing about these three events was that all three of these people were clearly dead, but Jesus brought them back to life by the Word saying, “Arise!” The Word of Jesus is the Word of power that brings back even the dead and shatters the power of death. Jesus died on the cross, was buried and resurrected on the third day. He carried all of our sins, and by His blood, we have been redeemed (Eph 1:7). Jesus rescued us and paid the price of our slavery on the cross, and that’s how He released and liberated us from our slavery. That is called redemption.
Jesus will return
Jesus will come and resurrect all those who died in Jesus. Those who are alive at that time will be transfigured. Jesus became the first fruit of resurrection (1 Cor 15:20-23). If we belong to Jesus now, then we will become the next fruit of Jesus (1Cor 15:22). Adam is the representative of all mankind. Just as everybody died in Adam, everybody will also be made alive if in Christ. We are all descendants of Adam; therefore we are all bound for death. However, when we believe in and belong to Jesus Christ, we change our status from being of the dead to the living. Secondly, at the return of Jesus and the sound of the last trumpet, all the saints who have fallen asleep will come to life (1 Cor 15:51). Those who died in Jesus Christ will all resurrect (1 Thess 4:16). Those who are alive don’t need to die but will remain and be caught up together with Him. Those who are of Jesus will surely resurrect and be transfigured. Those who die believing, their souls are in paradise, and their corrupted body will be recovered by Jesus and resurrected to a spiritual body (Psa 116:3, 8)
Conclusion: Jesus overcame death with death (Heb 2:14). We, humans, have flesh and blood, but Jesus did not have a body before He was incarnated. However, in order to save us from our sins, He put on flesh and came to this world to die so that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. Therefore, by His death, Jesus will make the devil powerless. Secondly, Jesus has the keys to death (Rev 1:18). This means that Jesus can freely go into death and freely come out of death. Thus, death has no power over Jesus. Thirdly, even death will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10, 14). At that time, death will no longer rule over us, and we will be resurrected to eternal life and enjoy everlasting happiness. Throughout his many missions’ trips, the Apostle Paul experienced many dangers and threats of death. However, he trusted in God, and God delivered him from those dangers of death (2 Cor 1:10). Therefore, if we commit ourselves to God, then He will fully take care of us. No matter what kind of perils of death you may be in, our Lord Jesus Christ who has risen shattered the power of sin and death. So, may the newest of life take full control over you and deliver you from the power of death today.