Jesus was dead.
Condemned unjustly by
Jewish religious leaders (Luke 22:66-71),
Roman political leaders (Luke 23:1-12),
and the people of Jerusalem (Luke 23:13-24),
He’d been crucified (Luke 23:32-49).
“Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him.” (Acts 2:23, emphasis mine)
After Jesus’ death, aware of His prophecies of rising on the third day, Jewish and Roman officials secured the tomb with soldiers, lest His disciples steal His body to counterfeit resurrection. (Matthew 27:62-66) Armed with every sophisticated weapon of their time, the soldiers believed they were in control.
Suddenly, on the third day there was a great earthquake, and the soldiers fell like corpses. (Matthew 28:1-4) An angel of the Lord rolled away the stone, and Jesus emerged from the tomb victoriously. Hallelujah!
“God raised Him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by death.” (Acts 2:24)
Jesus’ resurrection revealed His victory over death, and now He lives forever; furthermore, we are invited to share in His victory!
“Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death–that is, the devil–and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
We have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of light. (Colossians 1:13) God, in His mercy and great love for us, made us alive together with Jesus. Though we were dead in our sins, God raised us with Him, and seated us together with Him in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:4-6)
Our rescue and redemption are God’s gifts; we have done nothing to deserve them. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Having believed in Him, we were buried with Him and raised with Him into newness of life. (Romans 6:4)
We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is a pledge of our inheritance. (Ephesians 1:13-14) While we will never reach perfection in these sinful bodies, we know He who started a good work in us will bring it to completion in eternity. (Philippians 1:6) In fact, His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness; therefore, we may share in His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Now, with these promises, we are called upon to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12) This does not entail adding any value to what Jesus has done; it simply means obeying the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Our salvation does not make us immune to temptations and trials; we still live in a world where sin and evil are prevalent. (2 Timothy 3:12-15) On a daily basis, we face temptations, often wrapped in an attractive “package” to lure us into sin. We work out our salvation by obeying the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and resisting such temptations.
While temptations may come disguised as pleasure, trials often present as life challenges such as sickness, loss of a beloved one, lack, marital issues, or persecution, to name a few. When faced with such situations, we tend to become overwhelmed; however we must hold fast to the confession of our faith in Christ. No matter the situation, we need to keep it in mind that Christ’s victory is our victory.
Again and again, the Scripture charges us to be steadfast in our faith, and not to be overwhelmed by trials. In 1 Peter 5:8-9, we are called upon to be on alert because our adversary prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We are charged to resist him, remaining firm in the faith. In the same way, 1 Corinthians 15:58 charges us, “[B]e steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
The significance of being steadfast cannot be overemphasized.
Being steadfast calls for patience, endurance, and perseverance in the face of suffering. Furthermore, we must remain focused on Christ, who is the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) Whatever situation we are facing, we can steadfastly hold to the truth that Christ was tempted in every way just as we are, yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) He endured hostility from sinners, just as we might, and He urges us not to grow weary or give up. (Hebrews 12:3) Having passed through incredible temptation and incomprehensible suffering, He is able to help us; we can seek mercy and grace from Him. (Hebrews 4:16)
Christ warned us we would experience tribulations in the world, but assured us of His victory. (John 16:33) Therefore, we can steadfastly say, “Who can separate us from the love of Christ? [. . . I]n all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35, 37)
Steadfast Day 15
Verse 58 isn’t the only mention of holding steadfast in our faith in Christ. He brings it up in the letter to the church at Ephesus as well. (Ephesians 4:14) Which only serves to remind us that we aren’t the first ones to have doubts in our walk with Christ.
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This Week's Lock Screen
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