In a recent post, I write that Jesus does not scurry my wounds by death and loss to patched-up, peripheral healing. Rather, Jesus addresses the core of my pain. Today, on Easter Sunday, I want to expound via twenty truths about Jesus’ triumph over sin and death:
Death affects all mankind, so we are wise to study in Scripture how it originated, what implications it has upon this present life, and what happens following it: “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart” (Eccles. 7:2; c.f. Rom. 3:23).
Obedience to God was part of His original, good creation in the garden of Eden. Spiritual and physical death are the results of disobeying God—or, sinning again Him: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Gen. 2:16-17; c.f. Gen. 3).
God’s kind mercy is apparent amidst mankind’s disobedience and spiritual death; He provides opportunity for future newness of life: “Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—’ therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken’”(Gen. 3:22-23).
God only does what is right, including His setting forth death for sin: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Gen. 18:25b).
Sin righteously angers our good and holy God, incurring guilt and requiring judgment: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom. 1:18a).
Death is considered an enemy: “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26).
Yet, death is not our greatest adversary. Sin is: “The sting of death is sin” (1 Cor. 15:56a).
God does not afflict judgment with pleasure: “but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart” (Lam. 3:32-33a; c.f. Ezek. 33:11).
Still, God fully demonstrates the necessity of judgment for sin within His act of greatest love for mankind. He was willing to crush His Son, who bore God’s wrath in the place of sinners: “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief” (Isa. 53:10a; c.f. 1 Cor. 15:3-5; Rom. 5:8).
Jesus’ triumph over sin on the cross means sinners can be set free from sin: “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” (Rom. 6:6-7).
Jesus’ triumph over sin on the cross means sinners can be declared righteous as a gift of God—not because of any merit or work of their own, but based upon Christ’s finished work of perfect obedience to God: “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21; c.f. Jn. 19:28, Heb. 9:26-28).
By Jesus’ resurrection to life, sinners can have new spiritual life in Him—which is called “being born again,” “the new birth,” or “regeneration”: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”(1 Peter 1:3; c.f. Eph. 2:5-6).
Being born again gives newness within to obey God and His ways—like man was originally created to do: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1-2; c.f. Rom. 6:11-13, Rev. 12:11b, Acts 20:24, Rom. 12:1).
But those who are not reborn through personal faith in Jesus remain spiritually dead in their sins, and God’s eternal, inescapable wrath is sorrowfully yet to come: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (Jn. 3:18; c.f. 1 Thess. 1:10).
Because of God’s punishment of sin in Jesus, for all who believe, death has lost its sting: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55).
Today, believers die physically without being spiritually dead. Victory over death is complete, but death’s obliteration is forthcoming and foretold: “Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14; c.f. Rev. 1:18, 1 Cor. 15:26).
Until death’s destruction is finalized, God calls the deaths of His own precious, blessed: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Ps. 116:15).
Death for believers leads only to life: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 6:23).
Death cannot possibly separate those who believe from God’s love in Jesus: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).
Believers’ final resurrection to eternal life of grateful obedience and worship is certain because Jesus is living—having already risen from the grave: “And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power” (1 Cor. 6:14; John 11:25; Heb. 7:16, Phil. 3:21; Eph. 3:21).
Jesus “was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5). So Jesus’ resurrection from this death means triumph for sinners who have faith—free healing down to the core that enables our obedience to God with gratitude, where there was once spiritual death in disobedience (Ezek. 36:26-27). Jesus’ triumph means no guilt or judgment for sin will ever again be attributed in God’s sight to us who believe (Rom. 5:9). It means, therefore, nothing can remove us from Him. And nothing can, in the end, remove us who believe from each other. It means we will always be with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:17b).
All of that to say: with His wounds, mine are all healed.
This post was originally published at Hope Mommies.