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He Defeated Death By Dying | Good Friday

Politicians say the most ridiculous things. They stand on soapboxes and say they’re going to save our country. Inexplicably, even after all their lies, we still believe them.

But while politicians, mystics, and revolutionaries, make outrageous claims about who they are, we never hear even the most radical among their rank say, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” It takes a little Carpenter named “Christ” to do that.

Such an absurd claim demands evidence. Take the last part of His statement, “I am the Life.” How exactly does one prove He’s Life, itself? It’s not enough to merely live, as all of us are also living (and might live for a very long time). It’s not even enough to save the lives of others, as doctors, farmers, and firefighters, do that every day.

Instead, the only way Christ proves He’s Life is to partake in a paradox, and die.

The hockey player who says “No one can skate faster than me” proves it by beating his competition in a race. The artist who says “No sculptor can create more beautifully than me” proves it by chiselling David. An escape artist who says, “No prison can detain me,” is locked in the strongest prison to see if it’s true.

Likewise, when Christ says, “Death cannot conquer me,” He proves it by going to the grave. All men die as proof that we’re sinners, but Jesus died as proof that He’s sinless.

Of course, that doesn’t excuse our actions on Good Friday. Our crucifixion of Christ wasn’t just the murder of a Man; it was the murder of mankind. It was the day we decided the One who gives us life was no longer worthy of life. Creation killed its Creator; sheep betrayed their shepherd, and we used our life to take the Saviour’s life away.

The innocent Jesus of Nazareth was humiliated, tortured, and traded for a murderer. At 3 pm, His cup overflowing and suffering complete, this little Carpenter on the cross roared with a victorious cry that shook deep space as surrendered His spirit, and died.

Full of satisfaction, death walked away with the thought it conquered Life. That would’ve been the case if death hadn’t marched right into God’s trap, but it did. Its supreme victory turns out to be its mortal defeat. The moment it consumed Christ is the moment Christ consumed it. As death swallowed up Life, Life swallowed up death.

Shackled in the grave, Christ was finally ready to prove His power over it. He needed to be locked in a tomb to show the world not even the strongest tomb could arrest Him. It’s true that Good Friday isn’t so good if Sunday never comes, but it does. Death snarls at us with jagged teeth and says, “Remember when You killed your Saviour?”

“We do,” we answer, “but we also remember another event.”

His Resurrection.

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