Summary: The greatest triumph ever recorded was Jesus' resurrection from the dead. His victory over sin and death provided victory for every believer, and the promise of eternal life. We have nothing to fear because our Lord has risen as the Victor!
Triumphant over Death
Over the past several weeks, we have discussed various passages where defeat seemed inevitable for the people of God, and yet the Lord brought great victory to them. In the midst of their impossibility, the Lord worked in mighty and miraculous ways. While each situation was different, they all experienced the awesome presence and omnipotence of the Lord. They discovered that they were more than conquerors through Him.
While every situation we have considered happened thousands of years ago, we too can overcome through Christ our Savior. Like the saints before us, His presence and power remains available to all who are in Christ. Paul declared – we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us! We have the hope and assurance of victory because Christ our Lord secured the ultimate victory. He faced death and rose again in triumphant life. Because of His glorious resurrection, we are more than conquerors in whatever trial we face through Christ.
Today is a day of celebration and praise for the believer. We have gathered this morning, on Resurrection Sunday to celebrate the victorious triumph of our Lord and Redeemer. No greater triumph has ever happened than the resurrection of Christ. Therein our hope and assurance for the future lies. As we consider the greatest triumph of all time, I want to examine the certainties our Lord revealed in this verse as we think on: Triumphant over Death. Notice:
I. He spoke of His Crucifixion (18a) – I am he that liveth, and was dead. As John stood in the presence of the resurrected Christ, our Lord affirmed His death. For some this came as a surprise, but Jesus knew this was His purpose for coming to earth in the form of a man. He came to earth to die! He came to offer Himself the sacrifice for the sin of humanity. All were born in sin, separated from God. Because of sin, all were condemned and worthy of righteous judgment. In order for atonement to be made for sin, there had to be a perfect sacrifice. Jesus alone was worthy to become that sacrifice. In order for men to be forgiven and reconciled to God, Jesus had to come, robed in flesh, and offer Himself as the atoning sacrifice.
As I pondered this powerful words of our Lord, I was reminded of the enormity of death. It is the one aspect of life that men fear most. There is an innate desire within us to live. As Jesus came to earth, many believed in Him as the Christ. They followed His teaching and placed their confidence in Him as God in flesh. We cannot imagine the grief and sorrow they felt as Jesus died upon the cross. No doubt their hope and dreams were shattered at that moment. The One they had believed in, the One they placed their eternal trust in had died. Now their hearts were filled with doubt, fear, and uncertainty. Luke 23:46 – And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Luke 24:1 – Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. The hope of these women, and all who followed Christ, appeared to be buried with Him in the tomb.
Such seasons of doubt and despair remain today. We continue to live in bodies of flesh that are not immortal. We face death and other insurmountable obstacles. Had Jesus not endured death, and overcome triumphant, we would yet be without hope. However, there is nothing to fear for those who are in Christ. We face nothing, not even death itself that we cannot overcome in Him.
II. He spoke of His Resurrection (18a) – I am he that liveth, and was dead. Bear in mind, John had encountered the risen Christ following the resurrection, but Jesus offered a glorious reminder as he received the Revelation. Although Jesus was dead, buried within the tomb for three days, He now stood alive and speaking with John.
This is the fact that sets Christianity apart from all other forms of religion and spiritual movements. Had Christ not risen from the tomb, He would have been like every other man who came before Him. He would have suffered the same defeat, a mere mortal succumbing to the icy grip of death. However, Jesus lay in the grave for three days, but the grave could not hold Him. What appeared to be His greatest defeat was actually His greatest triumph! On that third, glorious morning, Jesus came forth in triumphant resurrection life. He was not destined to become another entry among the great men of history. Jesus was not like the others; He was God robed in flesh. Satan sought His defeat, but was unable to keep Jesus bound in death! Luke 24:5 – And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee. 1 Cor.15:4-8 – And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.