by: Staci Stallings
Last time we talked about how death is the absence of a relationship with God, and life is that relationship with God.
Today, I want to take the next logical step.
The Nicene Creed says about Jesus:
“For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again”
We’ve heard this, but do we understand it?
The Apostles Creed says it this way:
“suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead;”
Got that? Jesus died, but He didn’t cease to exist! In fact, Satan probably should have figured that out because the other souls before Jesus hadn’t ceased to exist. In fact, he had a whole giant city of the souls of those who had “died”!
I think all of this points to something incredibly profound. Jesus “died” — He was for a time separated from God (not from the relationship as He continued to carry that relationship WITH Him), but he went to save those who had died! And where were they? In HELL!
A synonym for death is hell! And what is hell? The conscious CHOICE of choosing death (to be absent from God) rather than life (a relationship with God!).
So what then does it mean to “rise from the dead”?
It is the same thing our verses from Corinthians point to:
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
Prior to Jesus, there was a barrier between us and Life. Jesus came to breach the barrier, to tear the veil, to give us a way to chose Heaven and Life and a relationship with God once again!
He came into our hell (our separation with God) to gently take our hand and bring us BACK into Life (a relationship with God!).
And what happens when this occurs in our lives?
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
We were “raised from the dead into new life through Jesus Christ”!
We were raised from the death of an absence of existing without God into the glorious option of life in relationship with God!
Now, THAT, my friends is VERY Good News!