Death And The Grave Are Conquered
This would make a great Lenten or, Easter writing, but God wants us reading it and thinking about it now, not after the fact.
God's Desire For Mankind Was Never Death
It was never Almighty God's intension that any man or woman, from Adam to present time man should die, neither a physical death, nor a spiritual death. Mankind was intended by God, to be everlasting. Mankind chose otherwise, and now must face the consequences of their choice and their actions, as all wrongdoing has consequences, be they small or big.
God Reveals His True Desires For Man
In about 592-BCE, almost 200 years before Isaiah begins prophecying for God, Ezekiel the prophet, begins to prophesy God's Holy Word. God speaking through Ezekiel tells us:
"Cast away from you your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves and live ye."
Indeed God gets no pleasure in seeing any man die a spiritual death. This happens when we choose not to welcome God into our lives.
God is telling man that once you repent your sins, through faith you have the opportunity to have a new heart and a new or renewed spirit, that God finds no fault in, and that God finds no pleasure in our dying for the sake of our transgressions or sins, rather God desires us to live.
400 years before Jesus Christ even appears on the scene, Almighty God tells us through His prophet Isaiah, that one will come who will destroy death and conquer the grave.
"And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over the people and the veil that is spread over all the nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it."
We can see that God, throughout His progressive time-line is constantly speaking to His people explaining to them that death is not God's wish for man, that God desires to have a lasting intimate relationship with man His creation.
Proof Of God's Power And His Love For MankindIn JOHN:3:16: Jesus tells Nicodemus: "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life."
Even before Christ Jesus crucifixion and resurrection, Our Father God chose to prove and demonstrate His Godly Powers over death and the grave. God also chooses to exercize this power infront of many witnesses so that all may know that God is real, and that God has supernatural powers over all aspects of life and over all aspects of death. Twice, Jesus through the power of God brings back from the dead people in order to demonstrate God's power over death and his love for mankind.
Proof Of God's Power Over DeathLazarus is already 4 days dead and in the grave at this time. Jesus knowing that the people would not see what he was about to do as a true "Miracle from God" had he arrived a few days earlier, waits until Lazarus corpse is beginning to decay in the grave befor Jesus performs this miracle of resurrecting Lazarus.
"Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus, lifted up his eyes, and said, 'Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I know that though hearest me always: but because of the people, which stand by, I said it, that they may believe that thou has sent me.' And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes:"
Even at this time in Jesus Ministry, prior to Jesus crucifixion, God through Christ Jesus shows mankind that He has power over death and the grave by raising up Lazarus after being not 3 but 4 days in the grave.
We can see through this resurrection, that Jesus is God's chosen son, and that Jesus is the Messiah now come, as reported by Isaiah over 400 years earlier.
Christ Jesus, prior to his death, gives us many different indications that He infact is the Messiah and the one spoken of by God through ISAIAH.
In JOHN: 10:10; "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and kill, and destroy: I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
Lastly going back to the story of Lazarus and Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus tells the people who are present for Lazarus burial and support of his family the following statement, establishing Jesus as the reported Messiah, the one who would free the Hebrew people and all other people from their spiritual persecution and spiritual bondage.
Speaking unto Mary and Martha, Lazarus sisters, and to the crowd gathered for Lazarus funeral: Jesus speaks saying: " I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." When Caiaphas hears of this through the Pharisees two decisions are made by Caiaphas. Lazarus must be killed, and Jesus must be sacrificed for the good of the Hebrew people's safety from the hands of Rome.
( JOHN: 11:25-26 )
This is a very profound statement, a statement of fact, spoken by the "Son of God" to family and neighbours. Jesus after resurrecting Lazarus tells the people that He, Jesus the "Son of God" the "Son of Man" will be given the power to resurrect all who believe in Him whether in the grave already or when they are laid to rest.
Jesus returns to the apostles after his death and resurrection from the grave offering assurance that he had actually died and risen when Jesus greets them in the midst of a locked room and tells Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless but believing." JOHN: 20: 27.
ConclusionIt is this writer's belief that if one is a believer in Christ Jesus, though the body may die, the spirit will instantly be resurrected and return to God, because our spirit belongs to God and to Jesus who adopts us as brother or sister through our faith in Christ.
Paul tells us in ROMANS:8:28-31; "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,to them who are called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be first born among many bretheren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can stand against us?"
In these scriptures, Paul informs us and reminds us that once we choose to follow Jesus and accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, we become conformed in Jesus image? of being pure. We are called to be justified and glorified just like Jesus and become heirs of the kingdom just like Jesus.
There is no other religious book and no other recorded religious person in the history of mankind, that can and does make such profound declarations of resurrection and defeat over death and the grave. No other so called God, no other so called prophet claims to be the one true "Son of God". No other than Jesus is reported to have been crucified, buried and resurrected. No other person or prophet claims that death no longer has any claim over mankind.
Christians can be relaxed knowing that there is no grave that can hold them, and that their spirit will never die, but will return to God living and ready to serve the Creator yet another day.
It takes but a modicum of faith to see and believe just how important each one of us is to Almighty God, and how much God will Go through in order to achieve what he desires from each and every man and woman.
It requires eternal gratitude from each of us to thank God for sacrificing His only Son Christ Jesus in order to cleanse us from our sins and redeem us from death, brought on by Satan's tempting Eve and Eve tempting Adam her mate and husband. Satan causes man's first sinful act, an act that all man carries until Jesus through His crucifixion cancels out.
The Apostle John tells us that after the faithful are gathered up at the Great Rapture of the Believers, that death and hell will be hurled into the lake of fire and destroyed once and for all time.
Tags: Sin , Death , Hell , Eternity
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