The Defeat of Death and Satan


In John 11, Jesus resurrects Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus laid in the grave for four days demonstrating that he was good and dead. Jesus’ raising of Lazarus shows His authority over death. It served a precursor to His being raised from the dead. Now John 12, Jesus tells of His death and resurrection which signals The Defeat of Death and Satan. The defeat of death regards physical death and spiritual death. With Lazarus, Jesus demonstrated that He had the power to conquer physical death. He would show that again in His resurrection, but He would also show that He overcame spiritual death – separation of our spirit/soul from God. Since He overcame, He can offer defeat of death to us. 1 John 5:4-5 says, “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

John 12

 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

34 The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”

35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

Jesus said that it was time for judgement on this world. The cross not only judged the world it also defeated Satan (the prince/ruler of this world will be cast out). The defeat of the world and Satan was God’s victory and the victory of the people of God. We can have victory over sin both now and in the life after. I want to high light two passages capture The Defeat of Death and Satan.

Ephesians 2

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 2:13-15

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

I have read that the verb used for lifted up (the ancient Greek word hypsothenai) has a deliberate double meaning. It means both a literal elevation (as in being raised up on a cross) and exaltation (being raised in rank or honor). We don’t “lift up” Jesus with our praises in the sense He means here. He was lifted up on the cross, and we proclaim that fact to the world. We lift Jesus up by preaching Christ (1 Corinthians 1:23). We must proclaim Christ as Savior and Lord to offer life to others who are perishing.

In John 8:12 , Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Now, Jesus is telling them the light, Himself, will not be here with them much longer. Jesus is telling them that He is going to the cross and will accomplish what the Triune God set to accomplish before time began. We must believe on Jesus while the light is there, because it won’t last forever. God’s Spirit will not always strive with man (Genesis 6:3), and we must answer His call while it rings to us. When Jesus judgement day comes, it will be too late for man to seek the light. God is calling all men to walk in the light, Him, now.

Where are we this morning? Are we in the light, in Christ, or are we in the darkness, with satan? Christ is the light of life. He offers The Defeat of Death and Satan, but we cannot seize life without Christ as Colossians tells us man is dead in his sins. He can only be made alive by Christ. Join Christ to play your role in His life-giving ministry in this world.

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