Conquering Death

Mark 15:39-47

Death is vanquished.  The last thing that God is going to remove from this world is death.  Do not think that death will always be here.  During the thousand years of Jesus' reign, there will be no death.  Death and sin are conquered.  A Christian must believe that death and sin will be conquered in his life.  How Joseph of Arimathaea must have rejoiced when he saw Jesus on the throne in Heaven and remembered the service that he had rendered to Him.  You will never rejoice in anything at the end of your life but in the service you render to Jesus like Joseph who served Him in that darkest hour.  People invited Jesus to dinner, when He was famous and acclaimed.  But at this hour when Jesus was killed like a criminal, Joseph valued that bruised and lacerated body.  Kings and great warriors receive great honor at the time of their burial.  There was no one to pay such homage to Jesus here.  The faith of Joseph was a wonderful faith.  He did not expect anything like the resurrection.  If people knew He would rise on the third day and receive great glory, many would have done Him honor.  But Joseph did Him honor when he did not know about the resurrection.  Sometimes when you are straining every nerve and serving God, it appears like a thankless job.  People criticize you, your dress, your actions and everything about you.  Jonah was three days in the fish's belly.  "And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.  For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.  Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple" (Jonah 2:2-4).  "When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD:..."  There will come times when our souls faint within us.  In our desperate condition let us look again to God.  Where else is there hope?  Jesus used the case of Jonah as an illustration of His death.  Jesus was three days in the grave.  He was in the darkest place. He went to hell, where lost souls dwelt.  But there was nothing to hold Him down there.  The Father raised Him again from the dead.  The mystery of Christian life is the life-giving principle in the darkest hour.  When temptation is very hard upon you, do not forget to utter the name of Jesus.  At the worst moment of your life cry unto Jesus.  As Joseph was serving Jesus there must have been some faint hope in his heart. 

Your youthful life will stand as a witness.  Victory should be yours in your youth.  The victory in your youth will have a great influence on all your life.  Get victory over the flesh and in your spirit.  Christ's body was bruised for you.  One day you will wear a body that cannot be touched by sin.  Abraham will be there but Judas will not be there.  Blind Bartimeus will be there, but the Pharisees who troubled Jesus will not be there.  Lazarus will be there but the rich man will not be there.  This was the darkest night but it led to the brightest morn.