The Death and the Life of Jesus

There is a passage of scripture that I want to deal with today that I think will effect the way that you view your life.

Romans 5:10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

There are two important concepts in this passage that I want to point out and talk about:

1. We were reconciled to God through the death of Jesus
2. We are saved through His life

The good news of the gospel is based on two powerful acts of God – reconciliation through His death and salvation through His resurrection.

There were two acts of God that took place in the death of Jesus:
1. Colossians 1:22 tells us: But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

The first work was the work of reconciliation. Because of Jesus death we have been forgiven and made acceptable to God. If we were to use a financial metaphor, he has paid for our sins. There is no more debt. We have been forgiven. Our works cannot add anything to it. We continue to be forgiven if we confess our sins before Him.

2. Hebrews 9:15 tells us: For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

The second work is that that through His death He established a new covenant. What is the new covenant? Covenant means a legal agreement. God has made a new agreement with humanity.

Jeremiah 31:33, “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

The first agreement was that God would accept the people who followed the laws written on the stone tablets and bless them or punish them depending on how well they did. The new agreement was that the followers of Christ would have His law written on their hearts and they would get the Holy Spirit to help them please God and never have to be separated from Him again as long as they remained in Christ – even into eternity.

As with all biblical covenants between God and man they were administered with blood. The blood of Jesus sealed a promise from God to mankind that He would treat us differently from the way He treated humanity in times past.

That’s all pretty straight forward theology. However I want us to consider the second part of the text. It reads: Romans 10:15 “we were reconciled to him through the death… how much more… shall we be saved through his life.”

We are reconciled through death but saved through His life. What does this mean?

In a nutshell it means we benefit from all that He did! Picture it like this. If Jesus was a train engine and we were a bunch of train cars linked to Him, we would follow behind Him in suit to all that He overcame. When Jesus came out of death and hades we were pulled out with Him! When Jesus over-powered the devil so we were pulled into His power over the devil too! When Jesus ascended into heaven and sat next to the Father we were pulled up into God’s presence and into a place of authority with Him!

We benefit from each and every victory Jesus experienced! We are simply riding in the wake of all His triumphs.

So what are we saved from?

We only need to look at the life of Jesus to see what He overcame – and whatever power Jesus gained when He overcame trials, temptations and the Devil we have been pulled into that same power. Let’s look at the major victories:
Transferred into a new kingdom

Colossians 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son…

When Jesus overcame the grave and ascended into heaven the Devil’s hold over humanity was broken. Now all those who believe have been brought into a new kingdom where Jesus reigns. We live in a different realm and have access to God’s power and authority. We now live in the kingdom of God. If we would adjust our thinking we could use all of God’s resources to impact the world.

Like the great kings who went before Him, Jesus as the Messiah- King did enter into a battle of His own. But the type of battle Jesus came to fight was quite different from what other Kings fought in the Old Testament. Instead of confronting the Romans—who were the evil oppressors of the Jews in Jesus’ day—Jesus marched into the desert to combat a much fiercer opponent: sin and the devil.

Jesus came to start a revolution, but it was not a military one. His revolution was internal, inside the hearts and minds of God’s people, freeing people from the bondage of sin. Jesus came not to fight the Romans, but to treat the root of the human condition. He did so in the desert. He faced the same three tests that the Israelites faced in the wilderness.

If we look at the three temptations of Jesus we will see that the failings of Israel are symbolically overcome by Jesus’ victory over the devil.

(1) Israel’s first test was the test of hunger. Instead of trusting in God to provide, the people turned against Moses, saying “You have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exodus 16:3). However when Jesus faced hunger and was tempted to turn the stones into bread Jesus resisted him by speaking in faith saying: “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’(Matthew 4:4).

(2) Israel’s second test involved putting God to the test. After God provided for them by sending them manna, they soon faced another problem: How were they going to find water to drink? Once again, instead of putting their trust in God to provide for their needs, they accused Moses of a vicious plot against them: “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?” (Exodus 17:3). God responds by giving them water from a rock, and He named the place “Massah” meaning “place of testing.”

Jesus’ second temptation was when the devil challenged Him to throw Himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple to check if God’s angels would really save Him. However unlike the Israelites at Massah, Jesus refused to test God and says “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah” (Deuteronomy 6:16). As a result Jesus overcomes Israel’s second failing by refusing to test God.

(3) Israel’s third test. The last temptation of Israel involved worshipping a false god. This came in the golden calf episode at Mount Sinai. Similarly, in the third test, Satan tempted Jesus to worship him in exchange for all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus refused to worship a false god and responded by saying “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” (Matthew 4:10). In this third temptation, Jesus overcomes Israel’s sin of idolatry.

The whole victory over sin was sealed with Jesus’ work on the Cross, where He definitively conquers the prince of this world and wins salvation for all humanity.

2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

Jesus also performed many miracles of provision on several occasions which supernaturally changed the hold that the battle for stuff had over people. He sent Peter fishing for money. He multiplied the bread and the loaves on two occasions and He turned water into wine.

1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

The way Jesus took the beatings of the Roman soldiers in the lead up to the cross was where He purchased the right for people to overcame both physical, mental and spiritual sickness. He walked through the anguish and did not utter a sound. Although He had the power to command angels to defend Him He endued the pain and bought the right for divine healing.

Therefore the Scriptures teach us:

Hebrews 4:14-16
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

We can come to God at any time and ask for mercy and grace to overcome any struggle.

Today I have shown you that we have a new covenant, we have the Holy Spirit to help us and we have been pulled into every victory that Christ won. We have every reason to be empowered to live a victorious life. As a result we must make our focus in this season to ‘plunder the house of Satan”. We need to keep praying and reaching out to those who God places in our path and extend them the freedoms that they can have in Christ.