At Christmastime, we often hear the reminder that Jesus was “born to die.” And that is mostly true. Of course, he came to die (John 3:14-16). But He died so that He might live.
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (John 10:17)
Jesus died so that He could rise from the dead. And though we could point to several purposes for His resurrection, the one that fits with our theme is His triumph. Jesus rose from the dead so He could trounce Satan, who for thousands of years wielded the power of death against humanity.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15)
In the resurrection, God brought an abrupt end to Satan’s winning record. Having defeated every man in death, Satan thought He could triumph over the Son of God as well. And that was his fatal mistake. Because when Jesus broke the power of death, Satan not only lost that battle, but he also lost the war. In the resurrection of Jesus Christ, death lost its power over mankind.
We can delight in Christ if we consider the nature of His triumph. Notice how Jesus trounced the devil:
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:13-15)
Jesus masterfully set Satan up for this drubbing. He lured Satan into this fight. Jesus became a man. He entered our world as a baby, born into obscurity and poverty. When Satan looked at Him, he saw a weak, helpless lamb. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Isaiah tells us that in His death, “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”
No wonder Satan expected to trounce Him. But Jesus only seemed weak. When Satan took on the Lamb, he learned differently. Sure, Jesus died. But even in that, Satan could not claim victory. Though wicked men poured out all their viciousness, hatred, and cruelty on Jesus, no man killed Him (John 10:18). Not even Satan, who had the power of death, could take His life. In the short time Jesus lay in the grave, Satan thought he had triumphed. And then, Jesus Christ arose. At that moment, Satan lost the power of death.
Sure, Satan continues to win small victories. But many people have slipped through his fingers over the years. Many sinners have escaped death and have joined the triumph of the skies.
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. (2 Corinthians 2:14)
Death loses power over those who trust their eternal soul to the Lord Jesus. Because though Satan wields the threat of death against us and though he can cause us great fear in the face of death, for the Christian, death is a toothless foe. In the death of Jesus, Satan lost the weapon that made death so deadly. Because Jesus stripped Satan of the power to condemn us for our sin. With the condemnation removed, death became a portal, an entrance into eternal life. What made death so dangerous was sin, and Jesus took our sins on Himself, bearing God’s wrath so sin could be punished and sinners could be forgiven.
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:25-26)
Death holds so much promise and hope for those who have been pardoned. The sting of death is removed, and we rise victorious from the grave.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15:54-57)
This, my friend, is the triumph of the skies. And you are warmly encouraged to join that triumph. If you have (won’t you right now, if you haven’t?), then you are taught to live abundantly, to pour yourself out in service to God, praising Him and proclaiming His goodness and glory and matchless worth. And when you have come to the end, remember that death is not the end. It is the beginning. For death, that mighty tyrant, has been made a servant to usher us into eternity, where mortality is swallowed up of life.
And all God’s people said, “Amen and Amen!”
3 thoughts on “Jesus Wins!”
It’s what makes the death of loved ones (in the Lord) bearable, even an element of joy in the face of grief. The sting is truly gone!
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I appreciate this type of blog. Thanks for your writings. I’m a newby follower of your blog. God bless you more Pastor Mallinak!
Thank you, Charlie!
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