The Supremacy of Christ in and over Death

This is the second of a three part (and possibly more) series on the Sovereignty of God and the Supremacy of Christ.

Merriam Webster defines “supremacy” as being in the highest rank, authority, or power.

In the last blog, we saw how the Trinitarian God has control over death in that He commands death to occur whenever He chooses and by whatever means He chooses.

We also see Jesus demonstrate this power in Mark 11:12-13 when Jesus curses a fig tree for not bearing fruit, and the result of that in Mark 11:20 when they pass the fig tree the next day and it had died as a result of Jesus’s curse. We also see the opposite in John 11:43-44 when Jesus commands the four days dead Lazarus to come back to life.

In the above instances, we see God having the power to control life and death, both by ending life, and by resurrecting life. Perhaps the most amazing demonstration of this is in Acts 2.

Acts 2:22-24 ESV

[22] “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— [23] this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. [24] God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

Many people today, especially men who view themselves as “tough guys”, view Jesus as a weak, overly-feminine, dress-wearing momma’s boy who let the crap get beat out of Him before being unjustly murdered. First, this is ridiculous because it in no way accurately reflects the life of Jesus on earth, nor does it consider His triumphant return in described as Revelation when He comes back and says “It’s over”, and then the enemies of God and the church universal completely crumble. Second, none of those who hold this view have power over death.

Ummm, over death? When someone dies, they’re dead. It’s the most powerful and consistent thing in the universe. Whether you’re living it up in America, or barely making it in Africa, and regardless of whether you pay your taxes, death comes to us all, and it wins every time.

But Jesus, after being killed on the cross, laid in the tomb until the appropriate time, and then came back to life. The thing I love about this text is that it clearly indicates that Jesus didn’t pull a Houdini. He didn’t slip out of the shackles while Death’s back was turned. He looked at Death face to face, and said “Bring it!”, and all that was left after Death crumbled at His feet was a sickle and a cool Jedi cloak. NO ONE ELSE CAN DO THAT! No one else is tough enough to do that. Death may be widely considered the most powerful and consistent thing in the world, but Jesus controls Death. If Christ is Supreme over the most powerful thing we can think of, is He not also Supreme over everything else as well? Is He not Supreme and Sovereign over us as well? Of course He is.

His supremacy over death doesn’t end there though. He not only controls when and how people die, and is not only stronger than death in His resurrection. Because He is more powerful than death, He is sovereign over our death, and we can rightly proclaim His supremacy in our death (1 Corinthians 15). And while the sting of death is most assuredly present in this world, because it pierces our soul to lose one we love, the sting doesn’t last because, through the person and work of Jesus, the perishable is replaced by the imperishable (1 Cor. 15:42). So the sting that we feel now is absorbed by Jesus because He is faithful to fulfill His promise of raising us in Christ so that we may worship Him with those who have gone before us by ruling and reigning the new Earth with Him.

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