All the powers of Jesus would have a meaningless effect without this one: the power to lay down his life and take it up again. All the other powers are validated because of this power. We can claim salvation because of his dying and raising up.
John 10: 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
I get sick and tired of society. I guess it’s really the way it’s always been, but it seems more defiant of Jesus Christ. The world wants to classify God and Jesus as just two other religious figures in Christianity. Why then does society down God and Jesus? Why do they reach for a byword or swear word and call the name of God or Jesus? You don’t hear anyone else’s name being taken in vain. Why? Because they are the seat of power. When Jesus exercised his power, it was not for himself but for the sake of others around him. When miracles were needed, when doctors couldn’t help, Jesus helped when they believed who he was. He was God Almighty in human flesh. Jesus had the power. He was the power, from impossible illnesses to walking on the sea to taking a few pieces of bread and fish and feeding thousands. From having the power to say thy sins be forgiven thee to forgiving when the law said otherwise. The woman taken in adultery should have been stoned; instead Jesus wrote on the ground. Instead of stoning me, he wrote my name. The power of his hands set her free. He met the physical needs of many. He has these powers because he has the power to lay himself down and raise himself back up. The best power is the saving of our souls. Zacchaeus shimmied up a tree and Jesus told him to shimmy back down because he was going home with him that day. I’m glad for the day Jesus went home with me. God the Son was getting ready to do what God the Father could not—die. We don’t have the power to die and save someone else.
Satan and the demons were and are afraid of him. People tried to take his power but no one could. Even after being beaten Jesus still bore the cross to Calvary. The soldiers probably wondered why he didn’t die on the way. Man couldn’t kill him. He carried it further because we needed him to. We would never have made it through the city, but Jesus went outside the gates and suffered for our sins. He allowed himself to be nailed to the cross. Why didn’t he wrap it up in an hour and die? God knew how long it would take to pay the price for the curse of sin. It was a lot to bear and it took six hours on that cross. He stayed until the complete sin debt had been taken care of—every iniquity, every sorrow. He bore it all. No matter what knocks the wind out of our sails Jesus has power over it. He took our suffering, pain, and agony. He bore our hell, our every sin and the effects of it. The innocent for the guilty. God for man. When he looked to heaven and said it is finished he gave up the ghost and died. On the cross he showed his power. That’s why we’re saved and don’t have to go to hell. Jesus speaks and we don’t have to listen to this old world.
When Jesus was put in the tomb from Friday evening until Sunday morning, he was dead. He stayed dead so we could live. Sometime before the dawn an earthquake happened. The stone rolled away. Jesus got up and laid aside the garments of death and took on the garments of resurrection. He had power to take it again and he did. By trusting in him we have a living Savior. We can be saved from what is killing us. He saved us. He destroyed the old man on the cross. I don’t deserve it. The only way to claim Christ is because he laid it down and took it back again.
He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me along the narrow way. He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart. You ask me how I know he lives. He lives within my heart!