Tuesday – The Greatest Victory

By George Volpe

   So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” John 16:17

   People who overcome severe challenges to greatness are remembered as bright spots in history. Mozart produced great works after going deaf. Edison was fired from his job and became a prolific inventor. Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to receive a bachelor’s degree. Determination is a profound force in overcoming obstacles. But how can anyone overcome death?

   Death touches us all. There are amazing stories of people who claim to have returned from the dead. But no ethereal human experience or fantastic storytelling can overcome the reality and finality of death.

   It was never meant to be this way. God did not create man to face death. But the entrance of sin ruined what was perfect life. Death is the consequence of sin and is Satan’s greatest weapon against us.

   The victory of Christ over the grave gives Christians a living hope through His resurrection. Jesus willingly suffered and died for sin but He was without sin. No one else could ever make that claim. Jesus was able to resurrect from the dead because He is God. It was not right or possible for Him to have remained in death since He had no sin that was punishable by death. His death as the innocent Lamb of God was not just the only acceptable payment for the sin of the entire world, but it was the pathway to resurrection and overcoming spiritual death for all those who trust in what Christ has accomplished.

   The fact that Christ conquered death defines the most important difference between Christianity and all other religions. No other religious leader ever predicted his own death and resurrection, based his claims about himself and his teaching on that prediction, and then kept that promise. You can promise a lot of things and fake it, but you couldn’t fake death after Roman crucifixion and burial. You can’t stage returning in a resurrected body or removing a huge stone from the door of a guarded tomb. You can’t fake appearing to hundreds of people for forty days after the resurrection. You can’t stage ascending into Heaven while people are watching. We know that Christ conquered death because of His resurrection. He who was dead is now alive. Jesus Christ is alive!

   Believers “are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37) What can separate us from the love of God in Christ? “Neither death nor life…” (v38) Christ has conquered death, and believers stand firm on Jesus’ words: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live (eternally), even though he dies (physically). And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die…” (John 11:25-26)

   Read John 16:17-31.

Bible Reading Plan - Day 161

Matt 16:13-17:27

Ps 119:97–112

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