Death Defeated

Sosoma Jr

JF-Expert Member
Aug 7, 2020
Death Defeated.

Self sacrificing love is powerful. It was through this power that Jesus conquered sin and death on or behalf. His resurrection is proof of that victory.

We've found that there are two categories of death. The first is the the common physical death all human beings die. When a person dies the first death, they rest in an unconscious sleep like state. All humans will be resurrected from the first death, "those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:29). The righteous will enter into eternal fellowship with God. The wicked will stand before God. They will be responsible for their lives and will die the second death. But they don't die because God wants them to. They die because they have identified (or connected) themselves with evil. This connection with evil puts them out of rhythm with God's love. So they're not able to live for others. The second death is not simply the death of the body. It's the destruction of the body and the "soul [psyche]" (Matthew 10:28). The second death involves people answering to God for the good and evil they've done. Each individual conscience will bear its own guilt.

With this background, we are now prepared to explore the death of Jesus. Carefully read Matthew 26:36-39, Isaiah 53:5, and 2 Corinthians 5:21.

"The Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, 'Sit here while I go and pray over there. ' And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, 'My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.' He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, 'O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will'" (Matthew 26:36-39).

"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. . . " (Isaiah 53:5).

"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Notice how the word "soul" is used. Talk about the mental suffering Jesus endured. Answering these questions will help.

Jesus told His disciples that He was dying at the "soul" (psyche) level of His being. He said this before He'd had any bodily torture. So physical pain wasn't what was killing Him. According to the above messages, what was?

Paul says Jesus "became sin for us" and Isaiah 53:12 says that "He was numbered with the transgressors." Talk about what it must have been like for Jesus to feel as if He were guilty for our sins. Describe those emotions.

Bearing the weight of our sin upon His conscience, Jesus cried out on the cross: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46). John 1:18 tells us that Jesus had always been in the closest possible oneness with the Father: "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" (John 1:18). Through the Father was right there suffering with Him, Jesus could not feel His Father's presence. Instead, He felt completely crushed by our guilt as if it were Hus own. Talk about what it must have been like for Jesus. What was it like to enter into the total darkness of separation from the Father? Mentally? Emotionally?

This thought brings us to the most amazing reality you could think of. Follow the logic of this next point carefully. Jesus had previously spoken confidently of His resurrection: "Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.' And they were exceedingly sorrowful" (Matthew 17:22-23).

Now He hung on the cross and bore the crushing weight of our sin. He was covered in mental darkness and felt completely separated from the Father. He couldn't see a resurrection for Himself. Psalm 88 is a prophecy about the Messiah that shows just how deep the darkness was:

"For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to the grave. I am counted with those who go down to the pit; I am like a man who has no strength, adrift among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom You remember no more, and who are cut off from Your hand. You have laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the depths. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah. . . . I am shut up, and I cannot get out. . . . Shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah. Shall Your loving kindness be declared in the grave? Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction? Shall Your wonders be known in the dark? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?" (verses 3-12).

Wow! Jesus felt as through He was being "shut up" in a death from which He would not "get out. " For a certain a time, the separation from His Father was so complete that Jesus could not see a resurrection for Himself.

But Jesus suffered all of this pain voluntarily. Before He died, He told the disciples, "No one takes it [My life] from Me, but I lay it down of Myself" (John 10:18). He did not have to die. He chose to give His life for us. He was not trapped with no way out. At any point in the process of that massive self sacrifice He could have left us to save Himself. But He would not let us go, simply because He literally loves each of us more than His own existence. In the middle of that dark separation from His Father, He had to make a choice. He had to decide whether He valued our eternal life more than His own. And He chose us. Jesus demonstrated that He was willing to die forever and never see the light of day again in order to save us. That's how big God's love is for us. It goes beyond what we can grasp. It must be received into the heart to be understood.

But even through Jesus experienced the full, horrible reality of the second death on our behalf, He could not be held by it.

Scripture says of Jesus: "God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony if death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him" (Acts 2:24, NIV). The question is, Why was it impossible for death to hold Him? To find the answer, we need to see the direct cause and effect relationship between sin and death. The Bible says, "For the wages of sin is death. . ." (Romans 6:23).

Discuss Romans 8:1-4: "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

Paul speaks of "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" in contrast to "the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2). The law of sin and death is a cause and effect principle that destroys. It is not a random list of behaviors forbidden by a controlling God. Sin itself is naturally destructive because sin naturally goes against love. Sin goes against the basic operations of life as God made it to work. As such, sin ultimately leads to the second death if allowed to run its course. This is where Jesus enters the picture as our Savior. Paul explains that Jesus "condemned sin in the flesh" (Romans 8:3). He conquered sin by having nothing to do with it. He continued to love us at any cost to Himself. In this way He triumphed over death. He broke the power of sin through His experience. He lived a sinless life and died a sinless death, free from selfishness. As our Substitute, Jesus suffered the full weight of our guilt while remaining guiltless Himself. This is how He cancelled out the power of sin and death. His resurrection is proof of that victory. Read and discuss the following Scriptures:

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:9, 14-15).

"But has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10).

"I [Christ] am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Revelation 1:18, KJV).

"Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6).

What did Jesus "taste [experience]" for everyone?_______________.What effect did the death of Jesus have on death itself?_____________. Who now holds "the keys of hell and of death"? And what do " keys " stand for?________________ __________________. Think about Jesus' victory. In light of it, how much "power" does "the second death" now have to hurt us?______________.

Death is a defeated enemy! Jesus is the Winner! It is our privilege to receive the incredible benefits of His victory.


When Jesus died on the cross. He showed that God loves each of us more than His own existence. By the power of that love He overcame sin and death on our behalf.

Because Jesus rose from the dead, we have the promise of the resurrection and eternal life: "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ' Death is swallowed up in victory'" (1 Corinthians 15:51-54, emphasis added). Imagine what an incredible thing it will be immortal. They won't die or breakdown. Nothing this world can offer can in any way compare to that glorious day!

I see God's self sacrificing love for me. So I choose to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I choose to live in connection with Him now and forever.

To think that God values my life more than His own is absolutely amazing. I want to respond to His great love for me and love Him in return. I want to experience what John describes in 1 John 4:19: "We love Him because He first loved us." It is clear that accepting His love for me will develop in my heart a love for Him.

Dear God, I ask You to sharpen my vision of Your love. Empower me to love You in return.

God blessing You.

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