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Victorious Death

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve" (1 Corinthians 15:3-5).

The day of Jesus' death was the worst in history. God was dead. The man in whom many had staked their very lives had just had his life stolen from Him. There was no hope anymore, only horror and terror. Everything Jesus' followers believed had been a lie. They had hoped for one who would save them, but not even He was greater than death. That final enemy had swallowed Him up, too.

On Friday night, they mourned, reeling from the loss of the one they had called "Lord." All day Saturday, they waited in anxious rest, forbidden by Sabbath regulations from getting the closure they needed by tending to the body of the one whom they had loved.

On Sunday morning, a group of women went to the tomb to offer one last act of service to their friend. What they saw that morning changed the world forever.

For Jesus was not there. Two men wrapped in clothes like lightning proclaimed the awesome news: "He is not here! He is risen!" Eyewitnesses reported that day that the tomb was empty. And later, even stranger reports appeared: Jesus had been seen again, walking the earth and very much alive.

Jesus' resurrection has changed everything. His death bought forgiveness for our sins, but it could have only done so if He were more than a man. Only God Himself could have enough righteousness to pay the debt owed by the entire world.

When Jesus rose from the dead, He proved Himself to be God. He showed the world that He is the only way to the Father, the only way to be restored to the relationship with our Creator for which we were made.

There no longer remains any barrier between us and God. Sin and death are the results of our rebellion against God, but Jesus has vanquished them both. There is no longer any enemy left. They have both fallen to the victorious power of our risen Lord.

"'Death is swallowed up in victory.' 'O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?'" (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).

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