BY DOUG MAMVURA
Did you ever consider that if Jesus had not been crucified, there would be no salvation for us? If it had all ended with His ministry, there would be no new birth. Thank God, Jesus was wonderful in His death. Many people misunderstand when you talk about Jesus’ dying spiritually as well as physically. They think “death” means the cessation of life.
But death in the Bible never means cessation of life, dear friends. What happened when Adam died spiritually? He still lived physically, but he was separated spiritually from God. You see, spiritual death means separation from God! Because Jesus took our place, He had to partake of spiritual death as well as physical death.
Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” You see, God had forsaken Him. That’s spiritual death. He was separated from God. Why did God forsake Him? Because Jesus was made sin for us, and God cannot look upon sin.
Jesus took our place. He became what I was, praise God, that I might become what He is. Why did God forsake Jesus? Because He had become sin. Jesus never committed sin. God made Him to be sin with our sin. Was it Jesus’ body that became sin? No! It was His spirit that became sin, because sin is not a physical thing; it’s a spiritual thing.
If sin were only physical, then each one of us by dying physically could atone for ourselves. But, no, sin is spiritual. Some of the people standing by the cross, when they heard Jesus say this, said “This man calleth for Elias” (Elijah). (Matthew 27:48–51).
When Jesus cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost [or His spirit]. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent. It is very significant that the veil in the Temple was rent in two from top to bottom.
Under the Old Covenant or Old Testament, that veil curtained off the Holy of Holies in the Temple. Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian, said the curtain was 40 feet wide, 20 feet high, and 4 inches thick. That means that 20 feet in the air, an angel or similar emissary of God took hold of it and ripped it apart, signifying that the way into the Holy of Holies was now open. Before Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, no one but the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies, and he had to take great precautions as he entered and made sacrifices for the sins of the people.
The Shekinah glory, the visible presence of God, was kept shut up in the Holy of Holies, but on the day of the Crucifixion, it moved out. God no longer dwells in an earth-made Holy of Holies; God now dwells in us. The glory of the Shekinah presence of God now dwells in our hearts! The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
Jesus was wonderful in His death just like was prophesied by Prophet Isaiah that His Name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, and, thank God, He was resurrected. He was Wonderful in His resurrection.
In Matthew 28:1-6 we are told “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women. Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.”
Are you ready for verse 6? Here’s the Wonderful message, “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay”.
Where is He? He is not here! All the powers of earth and hell have failed to keep Him. According to John’s Gospel, Mary said, “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away” (John 20:15).
You see, many seek the Living One among the dead. How many times people have sought in vain for life among dead forms? They are seeking life among dead works, dead feelings, dead services, a dead god, wells without water. Everybody else’s god in every religion in the world is dead except ours! He’s alive! Thank God, He’s risen! He is risen! He is risen! He has all authority!
Matthew 28:18 states “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. That Greek word translated “power” in verse 18 is also translated “authority’ throughout the New Testament. Therefore, you could read that verse, “All authority is given unto Me in heaven and in earth”.
After His resurrection, Jesus immediately delegated the authority upon the earth to His church. His authority upon the earth is manifested through the Church. In the next two verses He sent them forth: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
There are many thrilling Scriptures along this line, but let’s look at the Book of Ephesians, the book with the central theme that Christ is the Head and we are the Body. Let’s see the revelation Paul gives in Ephesians.
Remember, Paul was not taught the Gospel by some man (Galatians 1:11-12) “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ”.
The Holy Spirit taught Paul the whole thing! Now notice what Paul says about Jesus’ resurrection. He was Wonderful in resurrection. Ephesians 2:1-6, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; The word “quickened” means “made alive.”
Thank God, we’ve already been resurrected spiritually. We’ve been made alive. We’re going to have new bodies one of these days. “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)”
God made us alive together with Christ. God saw it as done when He raised Jesus up. Now notice in verse 6, “And hath raised us up together [that’s not all of it], and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”
To be raised up together with Christ and made to sit together “in heavenly places” indicates not only location but also a position of authority. It’s because of our position of being raised up with Christ that all things, including the demonic realm, are put under our feet. We are to exercise this authority in this present evil age through preaching the Gospel, including healing the sick and casting out devils.
Since we are resurrected with Jesus and seated with Him in heavenly places, what is true of Him is also true of us in our born-again spirits. Thank you Lord, for dying for me and most importantly for your resurrection. That same power that raised you from the dead now resides in me. That is awesome!
- Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: email@example.com or Twitter @dougmamvura