CHRIST IS RISEN
By Ivan Ho 1 April 2018
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Romans 8:11 reveals to us that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead will quicken (or give life to) our mortal bodies, IF the Spirit of God dwells in us.
Before we can properly understand what the above scripture actually means to us, we need to first establish some foundational truths, for there are some misconceptions surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection being taught amongst us.
1. Jesus did not go to heaven after death
There are people who teach that the Spirit of Jesus went straight to heaven to be with the Father immediately after His death, and 3 days after returned to His body at His resurrection. Some even suggest that hell was only the dimensions of suffering Jesus experienced during those 3 days.
If such teaching was true, and it is not, how would Jesus be in the presence of the Father and experienced hell at the same time?
Such misconception is largely due to their misinterpretation of Luke 23:43 which relates the day of crucifixion when Jesus said to one of the thieves being condemned to die on the cross: “Today you will be with Me in paradise”.
People think that the term ‘paradise’ refers to heaven when it actually refers to a place in the lower parts of the earth where the spirits of the righteous dead were held. It is a place where the spirits of the Old Testament saints as well as those who were regarded as righteous were sent. The spirits of the wicked, on the other hand, were sent to another compartment in hell to be punished and tortured. Paradise was a temporary holding place of happiness and comfort for the righteous who died before the resurrection of Jesus.
These spirits of the righteous were the ‘spirits in prison’ to whom Christ preached about Himself during His 3 days in that compartment of hades known as Abraham’s bosom (according to Luke 16:19-31).
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
1 Peter 3:18-20 KJV
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Ephesians 4:8-10 KJV
During the 3 days of His physical death, Jesus went to preach to the spirits of the righteous who were confined in paradise (or Abraham’s bosom) and at His resurrection, the spirits of these people who were redeemed by Jesus were taken up to heaven.
Today, after the resurrection of Jesus, all those who believe in Christ, all those whose sins are forgiven with their names written in the Book of Life, will enter direct to heaven to be in the presence of our Lord after they die, but those who die without Christ will go straight to hell, the place of torture and eternal punishment.
You can choose heaven and shun hell by your personal decision to follow Christ today!
2. Jesus conquored all demonic powers
There are false teachings claiming that between His death and resurrection, demonic powers were all over Jesus as he was lying lifeless in hell until the Spirit of God came and raised Him from the dead. That is heresy that downgrades Jesus to a mere mortal human being like one of us. Jesus was never at any time subject to any demonic powers during His death. During His bodily death for 3 days, Jesus went to paradise, the abode in the lower parts of the earth, and preached to the spirits of the righteous who died before Him, including the Old Testament saints.
The reality was that demonic powers and principalities trembled when Jesus went into hell in the lower parts of the earth after He died. He completely disarmed all powers of darkness in hades by His death and resurrection!
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
No demonic principalities and evil forces of darkness has power over all those who follow Christ! Jesus has already totally disarmed all evil forces against us.
That is not to say demonic forces will never come against us, and as a matter of fact they do and will try to attack us. Whatever the enemy tries to throw at us, however, we can be assured that “no weapons formed against us shall prosper”, for Jesus has conquored over all demonic forces of darkness through His death and resurrection!
Today, the only power the enemy has over the people of God is through deceptions, and when people walk in disobedience and rebellion. Otherwise, in Christ, our enemies in the demonic realm have absolutely no power over us!
3. Jesus was never born again
Jesus never needed to be born again, as suggested by some false teachers.
Jesus Christ is God incarnate, ie God took on human flesh, born into our world and walked amongst us. Jesus is from everlasting to everlasting the Son of God. Jesus does not possess a human spirit. The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of God that could never be limited nor transformed, even during the days of Jesus’s death on the cross.
When Jesus died, His Spirit left His body so that only His flesh was without life for 3 days and 3 nights, but Jesus was always alive in His Spirit when His body was lying in the grave at His death.
When Jesus was resurrected 3 days after His death, His Spirit returned to His body which was lying inside the tomb.
So in Romans 8:11, “the Spirit of Him that raised Jesus from the dead” is actually referring to the Spirit of Christ ie His own Spirit returning to His body!
Jesus did not have to be born again. Everyone of us, however, must become born again in our spirits to be able to see the kingdom of heaven! Our individual spirit is dead due to sin, but when we receive the Spirit of Christ into our life, we become born again!
4. Spirit of Christ raised Jesus from the dead
Realising the aforementioned truths, we can now understand how Romans 8:11 ties in with the preceding verses in the paragraph.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Romans 8:9-11 KJV
Note that in verses 9 and 10 of Romans 8, Paul makes it clear that the “Spirit of Him” in verse 11 is indeed the Spirit of Christ, rather than the Holy Spirit coming to raise Christ from the dead as many believe. “Why is this distinction important?” one may ask. For if we think it is the Holy Spirit who came to raise Christ from the dead, then all the false doctrines about Jesus being born again in hell and so forth could be established as possibly true. However, the Spirit of Christ is always alive and never needed to be raised from the dead. Only His body died for 3 days when His Spirit departed. Jesus has never at any time ceased to be God!
5. Our sins are forgiven
Paul the apostle says that if Christ was not raised from the dead, our faith is in vain, and we are still in our sins!
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:15-22 KJV
The resurrection of Jesus is the single most important historical fact which the apostle Paul and others have witnessed! After His resurrection and before He was taken up to heaven, it was recorded that Jesus had appeared to more than 500 people at one time! Many of His disciples suffered terrible tortures and deaths for claiming that they saw our resurrected Lord Jesus.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 KJV
The Bible tells us that Jesus has to offer His life as a sacrifice to redeem us from our sins. By the blood He shed on the cross, our sins are washed away!
While we were yet sinners Jesus was sent to die for us sinners, the just dying for the unjust, the righteous laying down His life for the unrighteous.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Romans 5:8-11 KJV
No man on earth can forgive our sins, for all men are sinners. In Christ alone, in Him who only is righteous and knew no sin, can we as sinners be forgiven!
6. We can overcome the power of sins
It’s good news to know that our sins are forgiven, which is secured by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross. Through our faith in Jesus, we are now regarded as righteous and being justified freely by His grace.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Romans 3:23-25 KJV
However, the apostle Paul also explains that if Christ did not rise from the dead, we are still in our sins. In other words, even though the death of Jesus has redeemed us from our sins, we are still under its power if Christ was not raised.
Now that Christ is risen, sin no longer has dominion over us. By the grace and power of Christ who dwells in the born again believers, we can overcome the power of sin over our lives!
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:5-14 KJV
7. The body of Jesus is incorruptible
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Psalms 16:10 KJV
In other bible versions, the word ‘corruption’ is translated as ‘decay’:
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
Psalms 16:10 NASB
This is the prophetic word referring to Jesus, the Holy One whose body did not suffer decay even after His death on the cross.
I am not a scientist but common knowledge tells me that the human body will start to decay the moment after a person dies. However, the above scriptures strongly suggests that the body of Jesus was preserved by God to become absolutely incorruptible during His death which was a miracle. Even if the Spirit of Christ did not return after 3 months, His body would still not decay! Death, sickness and corruption of our bodies only came about as a consequence of our sins. Jesus the Son of God is the only Person who walked on earth without sin, and therefore His body did not suffer decay after His death on the cross.
He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Acts 2:31-32 KJV
8. Jesus conquored the last enemy of death
During His life, Jesus has conquored the enemy of sin and sickness. During His physical death, Jesus conquored the enemy of corruption and decay.
Upon His resurrection, Jesus has overcome the last enemy which was death!
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:25-26 KJV
Death came to man since Adam and Eve rebelled and disobeyed God. We are all moving towards the grave the day we were born as a direct consequence of our sins.
Death is the last enemy everyone has to face. But because of the resurrection of Jesus, He has destroyed death so that those of us who have faith in Jesus will also be raised from our death!
Eternal Life is a free gift to all those who are in Christ!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 KJV