AUTHORITY OVER DEATH
“For this reason, the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:17–18).
I have quoted this verse again because it contains truth about Jesus’ death that directly affect us. The word “authority,” sometimes translated “power,” comes from the Greek word ἐξουσίαν (exousian) which conveys the idea of “power with authority and there is no obstacle” able to hinder the purpose of its use. Jesus had both the divine power and authority which He exercised in going into death and then in throwing off death in resurrection. Both were absolutely essential for our salvation. Death was the judgment of God for man’s disobedience. In order for Jesus to empty the judgment of God for us, He must enter the domain of death and conquer it by raising again. But there is more. For those who believe and trust Christ for atoning, or satisfying God for their sins, Jesus left every one of those sins in the grave, hidden from the eye of God by forgiveness.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death” (Romans 6:4). “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). “The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him” (2 Timothy 2:11).
True conversion through the gospel of grace means that we see ourselves crucified and buried with the Lord Jesus. We realize and accept that through His sacrifice, God’s holiness was completely satisfied and the authority in Jesus broke the power of sin over our lives. “So, you also must consider yourselves dead to sin” (Roman 6:11).
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