The grave could not keep Him, for it had no power over Him. Jesus overcame death, hell, and the grave! He took back what the enemy had stolen: our right standing with God, our dominion, and our authority.
Let's go back to the the fall of man and where the seed of death was sown into humanity (Genesis 3). Adam and Eve’s disobedience opened the door to death and separated man from God. We see that in the absence of God there is only darkness which produces religion and works, sickness, pain, loss, hate, destruction, war, famine, genocide, rape, human trafficking, and death.
But death could not hold Jesus. Resurrection power raised Jesus up from the dead, and also raised us up with Him (Ephesians 2:4-6). All who receive God’s grace and gift of righteousness “will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17, NLT). Now that same Spirit that raised Jesus from death to life, lives in you! (Romans 8:11).
We do not need to live defeated, as a victim, going from crisis to crisis, experiencing chronic sickness, poverty, or shame. We have been raised up, seated in heavenly places with Him. We have been taken out of the kingdom of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of Light. We have been given authority over the devil and we just need to enforce it!
In Colossians 3:1-17 there are some powerful nuggets of truth for living out our resurrection life in Him:
Because we have been raised up with Jesus, we are to seek and set our mind, attention, focus, and priorities on things that are above! The enemy wants to distract us by keeping us busy “doing” rather than “being.” The power of our identity is “being in Him” not the “doing for Him”. We are to keep our hearts fixed on Him. When He is our “one thing”, all else falls into place in our marriages, families, and ministries.
There are specific attitudes of the heart, words that come out of the mouth, and actions that must be done away with after we have been raised up with Jesus.
No one else can put on the new man for us, we each must do it individually. As we do, we will see that we are truly becoming more like Jesus in every area of our lives.
When I was on my first mission trip at 17 years old, the Lord spoke to my heart during a time of worship, saying, “This is what I have called you to: to be a missionary”. I said, “I don't know what that means, but I give you my ‘yes’”. 18 years of missions later, including 10 years living in the Amazon, Uganda, and Iraq, He has had my “yes” in every season of hardship, loss, pain, loneliness, or victory. I had no idea what the Lord had planned, but all He needed was my willingness, obedience, and my “yes”. And that is exactly what He wants from you too.
Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 16:24, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me”(NASB95). These words were said before Jesus ever went to the cross, but show He knew what was required of Him.
Did you know that there is also something required of us?
We do not need to physically die on a cross, but we do need to die to ourselves, our plans, how and what we do with our money. We are to die to the cravings, needs, desires, lusts, pride, comfort, envy, jealousy, addictions, sexual immorality, and demands of our flesh so we can be led by His Spirit.
In order for you and me to have a victorious life as a believer we must first start at the cross, sacrificing our will for His, laying our lives down at the altar in complete submission and consecration to Him. We cannot fully fulfill His calling for our lives without humbling ourselves before Him in total surrender. As we die to ourselves, He can raise us up. That is what resurrection is all about!