Why couldn’t death hold down Jesus?
- August 14, 2019
- Lydia McCord
This is a question maybe you have heard preached on, or asked yourself. What is the reason that Jesus rose from the dead and why is it such a big deal?
Last week we took a tour of the Romans Road, a tool used to remember the gospel message and share it with others in a pretty compact way.
While I was reading over that post, it was the last verse that caught my attention. Romans chapter 10, verses 9, 10 and 11 say, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scriptures say, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.””
I asked myself the question, do I truly believe that God raised Jesus from the grave? That a man, beaten until He was unrecognizable, a man who had huge, strong nails driven through the palms of His hands and through His feet to keep Him on the piece of wood that He would die on, that that man left the grave and lived again and lives today? Do I believe that with my whole heart every second of every day? I know that it happened but do I put stock into it? Do I bet my life on it? Do I go out of my way to do things because this event took place?? Cause I’ve gotta. We’ve gotta.
Let’s stop here real quick. If you are or are not a Christian and are struggling with the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, like struggling believing that, wanting some historical context, some textual information there is a lot of great information out there along with a lot not so great stuff. Here is a link to an awesome, intellectual discussion regarding Jesus rising from the dead: https://subspla.sh/r6ndqrn
But I encourage you, please keep asking questions, keep seeking and knocking and be persistent until you find the truth. Because there is only one truth and the more you search the more you will see that and that search will lead you to the Creator God, Lord of all, King of kings. It will lead you to the event in history that split the timeline into B.C. and A.D.
Okay, so let’s go back to this question: Why couldn’t death hold Jesus down? Why did He have to rise from the grave? Let’s get some substance here to hold onto in times of rough water and stormy weather.
Last blog we talked about death being the payment for sins. If Jesus never sinned yet died, what was He paying for? Well, He was paying for our sins, He didn’t have any. However, death and hell could not hold Jesus because He had nothing of Himself to suffer for. He was perfect, holy, blameless, sinless. So, His death was therefore completely and only for us. To pay for what we have done.
Now, Jesus died for us but not only that, Jesus rose for us.
Okay so in the letter Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia he talks about being crucified with Christ,
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians chapter 2, verse 20).
When we enter into salvation we are crucified with Christ. That means our old selves die and, in their place, our new selves rise. We follow in Jesus’ footsteps, and rise out of death. Then we walk in newness of life and covenant (hence old and new testament/covenant, see Bible for reference) with God, the Creator. If Jesus had not risen, we would not be able to do this. What power would we have to change? To be made into a new creation? Have a new family (the church), a new father (God)? Remember, Adam was our father in the flesh and our inheritance from him was sin and death. God is now our new Father, our inheritance from Him is life eternal, what He longed to give us all along.
So, death could not hold Jesus because it had nothing to punish Him for. Death could absolutely hold us and it will if we do not believe that Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins and that God rose Him from the dead.
Jesus broke death, He broke it. He took the punishment of death when He didn’t deserve it, death couldn’t hold Him because He was sinless, there was nothing to punish Him for. Then Jesus gave us His place, His perfection, paid our debt to God caused by our sin, and now, death cannot hold us either. We will rise, we will live eternally with God our Heavenly Perfect Father. We will because Jesus did, and He does, live.
Hallelujah, praise God, He lives!