THAT COULD NOT HOLD
"Him (Jesus), being
delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you
have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it
was not possible that He should be held by it." (Acts
From all appearances King Death had conquered another victim.
For millenniums Death was mighty master of all mankind. There had
been powerful conquerors such as Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander, but
even these fell before the onslaught of Death. And now,
Jesus, lay cold and lifeless bound by the bonds of death.
There was no question Jesus was dead.
His sweat had become as blood falling to the ground in Gethsemane.
He had been thrashed with the cat of nine tails; beaten with the
reed and pummeled by Roman soldier's fists. He had been
nailed to the cross and when it was dropped into the hole every
bone was pulled out of joint. He had experienced suffocation
of heart and lungs not to mention the indescribable fever and
thirst. After He said, "Father, into Your hands I commit
My spirit." (Luke 23:46) He bowed His head and gave up His
spirit. The Roman captain in charge of the crucifixion
testified He was dead but for good measure he ordered the Roman
hook-bill thrust into Jesus' side. When the spear was
withdrawn water and blood poured forth...testimony that He died of
a broken heart. When Jesus was taken down from the cross His
body was wrapped in burial clothes and a napkin put over His face.
This was all saturated with spices and would have prevented any
air reaching his nostrils or mouth. For three days and
nights Death could gloat that he was the invincible victor for he
had conquered the Prince of Life. But on the third day the
stone covering the mouth of the grave was flung away. For
hours angels were seen both inside and outside the tomb.
They said, "He is not here. He is arisen as He said."
(Matthew 28:6). Mary Magdalene reported to the
apostles, "I say Him and heard Him and would have touched Him if
He had not forbid me from doing so." (John 20:1, 11-18).
The Women who went to complete the embalming reported "We
have seen Him and worshipped Him." (Matthew 28:9,
10). Simon Peter arrived at his meeting with the ten
other apostles with the message, "I have seen the Lord Jesus."
(1st Corinthians 15:5). The Emmaeus disciples burst
into the gathering of apostles with the message, "He walked with
us; talked with us; ate with us; taught us and rebuked us." (Luke
24:13-35). The ten apostles (Judas was dead and
Thomas was absent) testified, "He appeared with us in the
upper room though the doors were locked and spoke peace to our
souls." (John 20:19-25). Thomas said, "I went
to the meeting on the second Sunday night. I saw Him and the
nail scars. I heard Him and fell on my fact before Him and
worshipped Him as my God." (John 20:26-29). The
seven apostles of Galilee testified, "We fished all night
and caught nothing but obeying His word our nets were filled with
fish and we ate fish He prepared on the shore of Galilee."
(John 21:1-14). Five hundred believers testified, "We
all saw Him and heard Him at the same time in Galilee."
(1st Corinthians 15:6). One hundred and twenty
disciples testified, "We saw Him ascend back into heaven from
the Mount of Olives." (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:4-10,
15). Saul of Tarsus testified, "He stopped me in my
tracks on the road to Damascus. I fell to my face in the
dirt in the presence of Him Whose countenance was brighter than
the noonday sun. I heard the risen Jesus speak to me.
I found out that He was neither dead nor a deceiver. I
surrendered totally to His Lordship and changed from a persecutor
of Christians to a preacher of Christ." (Acts 9:3-6, 15).
John the apostle bore witness, "He appeared to me on the
Isle of Patmos and gave me the Book of Revelation."
(Revelation 1:1, 2; 9-11).
These testimonies mean that Jesus
conquered death. The bonds of death could not hold Him
because He is the Prince of Life. It means that He died for
our sins as the Scripture says. "For Christ also suffered
once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to
God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the
Spirit:" (1st Peter 3:18). It means that He is
risen to be the Great High Priest and one mediator between God and
men Who is "...able to save to the uttermost those who come to
God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for
them." (Hebrews 7:25. See also Hebrews
4:14 and 1st Timothy 2:5). "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.' 'O
Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"
(1st Corinthians 15:51-55).
Copyright © 2004
Thomas E Berry
Scripture quotations from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.