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The Resurrection of Jesus Changes Everything!

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In the very first sermon Peter preached after the resurrection of Jesus, he testified of Jesus’ power over Satan saying, “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him.But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip” (Acts 2:22-24).

Then, in Acts 13, the Word goes on to tell us, “God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David’” (verses 33-34, NKJV).

Notice that Jesus was raised up; He was resurrected from hell. What happened to Jesus was far more than His body coming up out of the tomb. In fact, those three days He was in the belly of the earth, a lot was happening, including prophecy being fulfilled. The Scripture tells us: “For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40).

What Jesus did during those three days is why The Resurrection of Jesus Changes Everything!

Jesus Gave Us Eternal Spiritual Life

The dictionary tells us that death is the cessation of life. Jesus did far more than die; He took on the sins of you, me and every person who ever lived. “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed” (1 Peter 2:24; also see Isaiah 52:14).

Because of His death, burial, Resurrection and being seated at the right hand of God, He conquered death itself, enabling us to live eternally with Him. “I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:18).

Yes, it will look like we die someday (Ecclesiastes 3:2), but if we have made Jesus the Lord of our lives, we will continue to live in eternity with Him. “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life” (John 5:24).

You could say that we will never die, but it is only true in the context that we will never die spiritually. Our earth suit (body) will give out, but our spirits will live on. To help us understand this, let’s look at Adam. In Genesis 2:16-17, the Scripture says, “But the LORD God warned him, ‘You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.’”

We know that Adam did eat of the fruit, but he didn’t die physically right then, because he went on to live to be 930 years old. The part of Adam that died that day was his spirit—the most important part of every one of us. Do you remember when Satan tempted Jesus? The devil said to Jesus, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9, NKJV). Who gave Satan “all these things”? Adam did. He did it when he committed an act of treason. God had given him all authority over the earth and Adam gave that authority over to the devil. And then he died, spiritually.

The death that Adam experienced was separation from God, showing us there is a difference between spiritual death and physical death. Ephesians 4 calls this being “alienated from God” (Ephesians 4:18-25, NKJV). We were never meant to experience death (spiritually or physically). We were made to experience life and spend eternity with God.

But here’s the thing: To fully understand spiritual death, we need to fully understand life. Life is God. The Bible says God is our life: “And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12).

The Bible also says God’s Word is life: “The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63). “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12).

Can you imagine what would happen if God ceased to exist? Everything that is in existence would go into nothingness. It would cease to exist because all existence comes out of God. He is the source of everything. It was Jesus who said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV).

To give us this abundant life, when Jesus died, He had to be resurrected; but before He could be resurrected, He had to deal with Satan once and for all. He was reclaiming the authority that Adam had given to Satan when he sinned in the Garden of Eden…and that authority was about to be given back to us!

Three Days In the Belly of the Earth

What happened to Jesus in the three days He was in the belly of the earth really is the centerpiece of the gospel. In that span of time, He represented the entire human race. When He called Himself the Son of God (Matthew 27:43), He was identifying Himself with man. He said, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:10, NKJV).

Jesus came as a man and operated as a man! He was Anointed of God, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and did and said what He saw and heard His Father do and say. Philippians 2 says He “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (verses 7-11, NKJV).

He became obedient to death on the cross. In other words, He did not disobey the Word of God. He never sinned. He didn’t die. Why is this distinction important? Jesus made Himself subject to death and He laid down His life—long before His physical death. In the Garden of Gethsemane He laid His life on the line on purpose. “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42, NKJV).

Jesus separated Himself from God in obedience to God. That wasn’t sin; it was sacrifice. And when He was placed in the tomb, He spent three days in the belly of the earth where He defeated Satan for our sake.

What Jesus Did to Satan Changed Everything—For Us

Somewhere between the Garden of Gethsemane—where He chose to be obedient to death on the cross—and the cross, Jesus took on the sin nature and was separated from God, so we would never have to be. This is the game changer…what Jesus did changes everything!

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation (Romans 5:1-11, NKJV).

Jesus was the first-begotten Son of God; the first man ever to be born again from spiritual death to spiritual life. Hell couldn’t hold Jesus because Satan had no legal right to Him. Every demon had to let him go.

At the moment Jesus was resurrected by the glory of God, in the eyes of God, in the heart of God, in the life of God, in the will of God…in everything that has anything to do with God…every man, woman and child ever born in this earth was totally, absolutely and legally freed from Satan’s dominion! Sin was broken. In the eyes of God, the entire human race was free from sin. In God’s mind, even before you made Jesus the Lord of your life, you were free. You have been free all your life. Still, we have to act on it. We have to choose Him as our Lord. Because Jesus rose up, we can rise up. Because Jesus was resurrected by the glory of God, we can be resurrected into His glory!

You are everything to the heavenly Father that Jesus is. God loves you the way He loves Jesus. He doesn’t look upon you and see the ugliness of sin; He sees the beauty of Jesus’ resurrection. He looks at you the way He looks at Jesus—with the same adoration and wonderment. You are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10).

All of this is why The Resurrection of Jesus Changes Everything!