The battle rages for days on end. Soldiers work tirelessly to push the enemy back. Suddenly, he shows up. The greatest warrior your army has. He steps up, and the swords don’t seem as heavy as they did moments ago. He turns the tide, and before long, the battle is won.
Then comes the victory celebration.
It’s the best part of the war: the celebration. The spoils are gathered. The blood and dirt is cleaned off. A huge feast is prepared, and everyone gorges themselves. There’s food, laughter, singing, and even some dancing.
The horrors of battle are momentarily forgotten and only the joy of victory remains.
That’s what today is all about. Victory.
Evil invaded this world and took over. It’s effects were so contagious that they permeated everyone. The result, death. God put together a plan to conquer death, and the plan centered entirely around the greatest warrior he could offer, his son Jesus.
The entire reason for Jesus coming to this world culminated in a three-day battle.
The battle started on Friday. However, the great twist was that the battle didn’t go like everyone expected. Everyone expected Jesus to come in and throw down a fight on the Roman Empire and emerge victorious, restoring Israel to its former glory. They were short-sighted because Rome wasn’t the enemy. The enemy wasn’t Babylon or Assyria, Greece or Rome. When one empire falls, another takes its place. The enemy Jesus came to fight against was death itself, and that battle began the moment Jesus took his last breath.
For the next few days, Jesus went to battle with death. While everyone thought it was over, Jesus was waging war. He paid the penalty of sin and ended up just like everyone else in all of history, dead.
And then the impossible happened.
Death could not overcome him. On Sunday morning, Jesus woke up, the power of death now under his command. He rolled the stone away and left his grave.
And then the celebration began.
It began with Mary Magdalene and Peter and Thomas and all the other disciples. The joy of victory spread throughout the original followers of Jesus. And then it spread throughout the Roman Empire. And it went from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.
The victory celebration began on that Sunday over 2,000 years ago, but it didn’t stop there. The celebration continues today. Today is the day we celebrate our victory over death. It’s the day we gain life for all of eternity. And it’s not just today. It’s today, tomorrow, and every day from now until time no longer exists and we are eternally in the presence of God.
So celebrate. Enjoy the victory that we have gained through Jesus’s sacrifice and subsequent victory. Take it with you everywhere you go.
“Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?Shall I redeem them from Death?O Death, where are your plagues?O Sheol, where is your sting?” (Hosea 13:14, ESV)