Hello friends and Happy Resurrection Weekend!!
If you’re like me, you may be planning to spend your day getting ready for tomorrow. Perhaps you will be preparing a meal or a dish or two for a meal. Maybe you’ll be cleaning your home to get ready for guests. Maybe you’ll be grocery shopping, or doing last minute Easter Basket shopping for your little ones. Today, Saturday of Holy Week, commemorates the day which Jesus lay in the tomb, dead, buried, but not yet risen. Today, before you begin the sweet bustle of preparations, I pray the words you find here will refresh your soul, point you to Jesus, give you awe and joy in the holy weekend itself, and fill your heart and every moment of your day with the glorious LIFE of Jesus Himself!
In the last “Prepare the Way” video I created (you can check it out here), I put forth the concept that Jesus wasn’t sent to save us because we were bad, but because we’d been trafficked into slavery. That fateful day in Eden, when the serpent deceived Adam and Eve and they partook of the fruit, Satan had conned them into losing everything—the Glory of God (His truth within them), their nobility as heirs of God, and their strength from God to reign upon the earth. That con resulted in them coming under the authority of the devil as his slaves. In other words, they became sinners—filled with the sin of Satan (his lies), no longer heirs of God but slaves of the Devil, and they lost all strength to overcome their new master, let alone reign over him. As Adam exchanged the truth of God for the lie of Satan, he sold himself, and all mankind with him. See, because he was the first man, and we all came from him, what happened to him happened to us. He was conned into trading all that God gave him for the promise of “more”. But in exchange for the truth, he not only lost everything, he gained nothing.
As Holy Week has been unfolding, I’ve been thinking a lot about another sale that took place about 4,000 years after the the one in the Garden. Check it out:
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. (Matt. 26:14-15, NKJV)
I was studying the Greek word behind our English translation for “deliver” (Greek paradidomi) this morning. The word, in the Greek means literally “to deliver over” or “to give over”. We see in Matthew 26:14 Judas offering to trade, or give, one thing for another. In this case, he was seeking to give the chief priests inside info on Jesus’s whereabouts in order to gain wealth for himself. His interest was focused on what he could gain for himself. See, we know that Judas loved money. John 12:6 says that he was in charge of the money of Jesus and his disciples, and would steal money from the money box for himself.
At the incarnation of Christmas—that is, when God became a man—the Son of God was conceived of the virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not have an earthly biological father. This is significant because this means that He was not present in Adam when Adam was conned into selling mankind into slavery. Humanity was in Adam at the time, in the form of the seed of his loins. What happened to Adam was passed on to humanity through his seed. The seed that is responsible for your very conception was in Adam long before it was in your own biological father. What we need to know is that the seed which formed Jesus was not the seed of man. It was the seed of God. When Adam sold us into slavery, Jesus was not in Adam being sold into slavery. When God became man, the seed of God joined with the seed of a human woman. Jesus was God dwelling in a human vessel.
The reason this is significant for our discussion today is because when Judas sold Jesus to be crucified, he was selling One who had never been sold before. He was selling One who lived His whole life free in God, never sold under sin.
HE CAME TO LOSE
While humanity was trafficked for the false promise of gain for one man (Adam thought he would become wiser, more noble, and stronger), Jesus similarly was sold for the promise of the gain of one man, Judas. Just as Adam’s sale resulted in zero gain and brought his death, Judas’ sale resulted in zero gain and brought his death as well (Matt. 27:3-10, Acts 1:18-19). Yet for this sale, Jesus Himself gained nothing. In fact, He did not come to gain for Himself in the eyes of the world. He came to lose His life for the world!
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Phil 2:5-6,8, NASB)
The original human sold his entire race under the authority of Satan. This is when we became slaves. When Jesus came, He was the first of a new race, and He kept the entire race that was in Him safe.Yes Judas sold him to humans to crucify Him. But Jesus didn’t sell us to Satan. He didn’t take gain for Himself and lose us to Satan. He gave his life, and gained us from Satan.
HIS LOSS WAS OUR GAIN
Yes, He rescued us. He came into our situation, took hold of us, destroyed the prison that holds us, and busted out, carrying us, freeing us. The death that He died in the body, was the safest move He could have ever agreed to make for us.
As humans who originated in Adam, it was a sale of our bodies to Satan that enslaved us. Paul said in Romans 7:24, “who will deliver me from the body of this death?”
In order to free us from the prison of these bodies—to bust us out of our prison cells—He needed to take our bodies—our prison cells—to death and burial. So He allowed Himself to be sold for 30 pieces of silver.
THE IRONY OF IT ALL
In truth, we’ve been sold twice. In the first sale we were conned under the authority of Satan and became his slaves. In the second sale, our bodies were sold to the slaughter and set free! Little did our perpetrator know that the slaughter he plotted in order to destroy the Son of God, was really the key that would set humanity free! All those slaves, for all those years… suddenly set free. At his own hand! The irony is thick! As the body of Jesus died, our prison cells died. As the body of Jesus was buried, the curse on our bodies was lifted (Gen. 3:19). And when that precious body of Jesus was raised back to life a glory-filled body, we were still in Him!! Body bought back, curse released, glory-filled up, new life abundant!
BELIEF CHANGES EVERYTHING
Can you believe these things today? If you can, if you do believe Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, and that His death and resurrection meant all this for you, then your origin has been transferred from Adam who perpetually enslaved you, to Christ, who perpetually freed you! Simple faith in Jesus makes you a new creature altogether! (John 3:16, Eph. 2:8-9, 2 Cor. 5:17). Hallelujah!
So Jesus didn’t seek his own gain. He came to lose everything.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW… and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:9-11)
THE CHRIST LIFE
The Christian life marches to the same tune. To find life and freedom, the way is upside down from what we expect. Even though he already had it, Adam expected to find more life in the fruit. Judas expected to find life in the 30 pieces of silver he’d gain. But both were deceived. Yes, our enemy is the father of lies who came to steal, kill and destroy us (John 8:44, John 10:10).
To find life, we must lose it. I used to think that this meant I should put myself last, serve others, live a holier life, forfeit all to the will of God. Now, none of these things are bad! But I was mistaken about what it meant to ‘lose my life’ so I could find true LIFE! In my understanding of losing my life, I worked to lose it. But the true way of losing our life is to simply stop thinking we already have it! We must disown our life as true life.
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
TAKING UP OUR CROSS
Once we disown our life as true life, we must take up our cross. Taking up our cross is a continuous habit of reckoning on Jesus’ death. Since we’re now in Him, our new Originator, what happened to Him happened to us. When His body died on the cross, we must believe ours did too. In other words, our earthly bodies don’t have to have power to enslave us any more.
His death = freedom from the power of Satan/sin in our bodies.
His death = our prison annulled
To recap, we must walk by faith in the fact that 1) our own life in the body is not real life (this is denying ourself), and we must walk by faith in the fact that 2) our body is actually dead—aka: it has no power over us (take up his cross daily). Friends, this is a good thing. The best thing.
To find life, we must lose it.
Finally, we’re primed to find life. Last, but far from least, we “follow Him” when we walk by faith in His glorified, eternal life alone. We must recognize that only the Lord Jesus has true life in Him. After He died and was buried, He was raised by the glory of the Father (Romans 6:4). This means He’s filled with God’s glory, For you to live the true Christian life, you must recognize that you can’t, that you’re dead, and that Jesus alone can.
BETTER THAN WE EVER IMAGINED
Yes, it is all upside down from what we expect. But isn’t it better than anything we’ve imagined? You and I no longer have to seek to be like Jesus, act like Jesus, partner with Jesus to live life. In fact, those things are impossible because we have no ability in these cursed, enslaved bodies to do them! Instead, the Christian life is all about Jesus Himself living His own glorified life through these weak vessels formed from dust. Strength out of weakness. He in us.
Yes, it is a glorious life we’ve been given!
Happy Resurrection Day indeed!