Jesus Faced It All
“Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He may fill all things.” -Ephesians 4:9-10 NASB
These two verses amp me up. First, Paul is reinforcing what was understood in his day, Christ had to die and share in that fate with us. He had to be buried in the tomb so that the tomb was empty. But, this goes back to what I wrote in Gift of Faith, about Scripture interpreting Scripture. In several other places within the Old and New Testament, the Word talks about Christ being crucified and the Apostles write about how God raised Him from the dead, releasing Him from it (Acts 2:24). Paul even proclaims that death has lost its sting and the grave has lost its victory (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)!
This is only part of why I get amped up reading these two verses. How many of us have experienced death, be it a loved one, or a personal near-death experience? Most everyone reading this, I am sure. I have had brushes with, and even attempts in the past to take my own life. Yet, in the spirit of honesty, death itself has never scared me. Hell scares me. Being forgotten and having achieved nothing that makes this world a better place scares me. The absolute end, that scares me, probably in the way that no longer being alive scares the normal majority. Yet, just as I mentioned in the above paragraph about Scripture interpreting Scripture…as believers we need not fear death or see it as the absolute end. Why? Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus as our High Priest experienced all that we did—including death—and He overcame.
I know that might be stating the obvious for some believers but for others I think it is easy for us to get caught up in the day-to-day existence aspects of our lives and lose sight of what all Jesus has overcome and done for us. I think that sometimes the literal quality of His having faced dying, having died and having resurrected takes on a spiritual, almost esoteric quality rather than the bodily reality that we are all faced with, too. It is easy to distance ourselves from the grisly facts about the death and resurrection and see it more from the lens of The Greatest Story Ever Told, rather then The Passion of the Christ. Yet, He still endured it all and overcame it so that we might have a God who understands what it is like to struggle.
In what ways might you be struggling without realizing that Christ is there for you? What area of your life are you clutching onto without the comfort of the only one who has experienced and paid it all? Seek Him in prayer and share your burden with Him. Let Him fill you with His presence and understanding!
Until Next Time,