Summary: As He is Victorious over death, hell and the grave, we are victorious in Him.
The central and all important facts of our Lord’s history, according to my text today, are these two: He became dead, and He is alive forever more. Emphasis should be placed on v.18.
We are thankful for the many things that Jesus did like, giving cleansing to the Leper, hearing to the deaf, sight to the blind, speech to the dumb, comfort to the down trodden, and hope to the hopeless! But there would have never been a church at all without the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of the precious Son of God. Let us look today at Three facts of the Christian belief and the foundation of the Christian Faith: 1)The Death of Christ, 2) The Resurrection of Christ, 3) Christ’s Supremacy over Death.
The Death Of Christ
The first fact:
"...and was dead..."
The cross is the beating and throbbing heart of the Christian Faith! His death on the cross stands forth as the greatest gift ever given to man. The death of Christ differs from the death of every other person in the world, other men suffer death, but Christ achieved it. To men death comes to frustrate work, but Christ’s death consummated, crowned, and completed His work. For the Christian the cry of victory was the words, "it is finished", so this is crowned as His greatest work, His supreme act, HIs most glorious achievement while on earth.
Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God tasted death for every man! He tasted the full bitteness of death, and the shame of the sins of the whole world. Christ’s death was one of will, we die because the wages of sin is death, and death was passed on all men from Adam to the last man to be born. Jesus willed Himself to die, He laid down His life, He gave up the ghost, He became dead! Jn 10:18 "No man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of myself, I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again."
The Resurrection of Christ
The second fact:
"And was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore."
Thanks be unto God, the cross was not the end, for we needed more than just payment for sin, we needed life! Death was not able to hold our Lord and Savior! Death was reinforced by the great stone, the seal of man, the soldiers, but daeth was defeated. On the third day there were certain women who were on their way to the tomb and when they got there they found it EMPTY, and went to the disciples telling them that the tomb was empty, and that they had seen a vision of Angels and were asked "why seek ye the living among the dead."
There have been others that were dead and became alive: the shunammite son, Jarius’s daughter, widow’s son at Nain, and dear Lazarus. But they became alive only to die again. Jesus is in our yesterdays, He is in our todays; and thank God He will be in our tomorrows. Matt. 28:20b, "Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world."
Christ’s Supremacy over Death
The third fact:
"and have the keys of hell and of death."
When our Lord rose from the dead, He not conquered death, but He made the way for you and me to be saved! Jesus stripped death of its power, and now death has no more dominion over us.