I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. – Revelation 1:18.
Jesus has the answer to Death and Hades because He controls them.
Regarding Jesus’ suffering and death –
Peter says, in Act 2:24: “whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.”
Peter further says, in Act 3:18 “But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.”
In Act 17:3 Paul was “explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.'”
Paul says in Act 26:23 “that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
The writer to the Hebrews put it this way.
Hebrews 2:14-18 : “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”
Hebrews 9:26-28 : “He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
Jesus had to suffer and die because, as John says in 1John 2:2, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”
In 1John 4:10, he further says, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Paul gives the reason for Christ’s death in Romans 3:23-26, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
John has this on record regarding Jesus in John 12:31-33:-
Jesus said: “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die.”
When we meditate on our Lord’s suffering and death, we become aware of several truths. He died to –
- Put away sin by His sacrifice;
- Rob death of its terrors;
- Deprive it of its sting;
- Destroy the devil and his powers;
- Judge the prince of the world;
- Cast him out of the seat of power.
By conquering death, our Lord has shown us the gateway into another life. We have the assurance that to die is to be with Him and in the company of loving souls. The writer to the Hebrews puts it this way in Heb 12:22-24: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.”
So, let us not fear death because it cannot separate us from our Lord’s love. Remember our Lord’s assurance and promise found in John 14:1-3: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Peter says in 2 Peter 1:10: “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Being in the Lord’s presence always is something to look forward to! We will have the same spirit, but different bodies to live in a different, perfect environment. We will hear many familiar voices because our fellowship will continue into eternity. Our greatest fellowship will be with our Heavenly Father and our beloved Lord Jesus Christ. He suffered and died for us and rose again and ascended to heaven to make our calling and election sure. To God be the glory!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.