His Victory Becomes Ours
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
- Acts 2:24
“on the third day he rose again from the dead”
- from The Apostles’ Creed
From the earliest days of the Christian movement, followers of Jesus adamantly claimed that this actually happened: Jesus died and rose again from the dead. This claim was no more believable for people in the ancient world than it is for us. In fact, they would have had even more direct experience with death than we do, living in a world without hospitals or nursing homes. They knew, as we do, that people don’t just rise again from the dead.
Those who believed in Jesus claimed that he rose again from the dead even though their neighbors mocked them. They held to that claim even when they were kicked out of their synagogues and families for making it. They even died rather recant.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ validates everything he said about himself. Throughout his life, he made ridiculously audacious claims about his relationship with God, his status in the cosmos and his future. He even claimed that he would rise again from the dead. If the resurrection didn’t happen, we’re not even talking about this guy. He would have been forgotten by history, as were all of the other would-be messiahs who lived back then.
But he did rise from the dead. This became a turning point in all of cosmic history. The empty tomb secures Jesus’ victory. And his victory becomes our victory. We who believe in him need to learn to live in light of his victory.
Here are three ways to try this today:
- Pray an audacious prayer
- Fight a sin or evil in your life that looks like it can’t be defeated
- Look for an opportunity to love someone who seems impossible to love