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Victory Over Death   crown4.wmf (2768 bytes)

I Corinthians 15:54

by David A. DePra

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." (I Cor. 15-54)


     Death is the great enemy of the human race. And not just

the physical death which awaits all of us. Death is more than

just a physical destiny. It is a spiritual condition. All who are

born in Adam are born spiritually dead. Such are the

consequences of the original sin.

     Most of us probably don't grasp the degree to which death

governs our lives. That's because we are so used to death we

think it's normal. We have little or no point of reference for

anything else. But everything natural man thinks, feels, says,

and does, is governed by the realm of death. There is no

escaping this condition outside of Jesus Christ.

     Death is indeed a spiritual condition; a state of being. It is

natural man's abode. Yet even death is not a static thing. The

Bible uses the term "corruption" to refer to the working of

death. Death is a continual spiral downward, away from God,

and into darkness. It is a rotting, disintergrating, condition.

     Now, all of that sounds morbid and depressing. And

it certainly should. Death is a condition which is the antithesis

of everything found in Jesus Christ. If we could see death

for what it really is, it would certainly terrify us. We would

realize what an awful thing Jesus Christ experienced on our


     When Jesus died on the Cross, He was not merely

satisfying a legal requirement. The legal demands of God's

perfect justice are one thing. But satisfying the legal demands

of God's law does not do anything to set a person free from

sin. Neither does it undo death. Sin itself had to be removed.

Death itself had to be conquered.

     It is important to understand this. Most people think Jesus

died to merely provide God with a legal right to lift from us

the "punishment" of death. We say Jesus bore our punish-

ment so that God could lift that punishment from us. But that

is error. Rather than bear our "punishment," Jesus bore our SIN.

He was the Lamb of God who came to take away the SIN -- not

the "punishment" -- of the world. 

     Jesus' death on the Cross was more than just a "legal"

act. His death had an experential impact on all creation.

Jesus literally BECAME sin on the Cross, OUR sin. (see II

Cor. 5:21) He took upon Himself the broken old creation and

bore it in Himself. But not merely in some "legal" fashion. He

became sin supernaturally. And it actually killed Him.

     The wonderful thing is that three days later He rose from

the dead. Yet do we fully grasp what that means? The Bible

tells us that He rose to NEWNESS of life. In other words,

everything that died in Jesus was left dead! The old stayed

dead. Yet Jesus rose a new creation with a new kind of life.

     The victory of the resurrection is over death itself. Despite

tasting every aspect of our death for us, Jesus could not be

held by it. Death -- all of it -- took it's best shot, and lost. There

was nothing it could claim in the Lamb without blemish. Thus,

death IS conquered. And because we are planted in Jesus'

death and resurrection, His victory is ours. We need only believe.

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