Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. (Acts 2:24)
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, the central message of the church, perfect hope of man. Divine Justice requires a perfect sacrifice for sin. Only Jesus could fulfill that sacrifice. Only Jesus could bear the wrath of God. Only Jesus could lay on Himself all the sins of man. His pure life, His holy mind, and His perfect love for man. Separated and forsaken of God on the cross, He endured the wrath of God. Death pains, like heavy cords or shackles, pressing in on Him, His body unable to move. As they tightened, His suffering and agony increased. Extreme anguish and suffering escalated. The earth shook. The sky darkened. Death came. . . Darkness broke, and the light of God’s countenance shone in on Him. The anger of God’s righteous judgment turned from Him. Justice was now satisfied. The torment of death loosed, Jesus, victorious over death. The Son of God, triumphant. Jesus, the Living One, could not remain “among the dead” (Lk. 24:5).
The cross of Jesus, God’s eternal plan for salvation. The cross of Jesus, His eternal love suffering for us. Jesus showed us the way of the cross. As His children, we can expect that our life will, in some ways, reflect our Savior’s life. He sacrificed for us. We will sacrifice for Him. He gave up His life that we may live. We ought to give up our sinful desires that Christ may live in us. Sometimes we feel as though the shackles of death are pressing in on us, hindering our movement mentally, physically, and/or spiritually. Remember Jesus on the cross: He cared for His family, “Here is your son, . . . Here is your mother,” He witnessed, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” He conquered sin, “It is finished.” Let us remain faithful to family, friends, and God when troubles come. Let us rise victorious over sin in our lives when enduring the cross that is ours to carry.
God has called you to endure the cross hewn especially for you. Is it grievous? Follow Jesus’ example. You can still love, you can still witness, you can rise victorious over the shackles that would hold you down. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). Jesus, Lamb of God, could not be held down by the grave. Though you may feel the cords of death tightening in on you today, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil. 4:13). Jesus has “Fought the fight, the battle won. Alleluia!”