Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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He Rose, He Reigns
Terry R. Baughman
“For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17 NLT).
The reign of death was long and pronounced. From the first sin in the Garden of Eden to the sacrifice of Calvary, death held the reign of terror. Reprieve from sin’s curse was afforded in the multitude of sacrifices instituted under the Law of Moses. Innocent animals were slaughtered to atone for the sins of humanity, seeking to stay the consequence of judgment and pushing sins ahead year after year on the Day of Atonement. Delaying the inevitable judgment was a temporary fix and a burdensome responsibility. Paul wrote, “Death reigned from Adam to Moses” (Romans 5:14 NKJ). All of humanity felt the impact of the curse. The Law was only a interim remedy from the weight of sin and its condemnation.
Jesus came with a new message. It was the message of the Kingdom! Jesus said, “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it” (Luke 16:16 NKJ). John the Baptist came on the scene declaring a new day, Messiah is coming and there is hope in His coming Kingdom.
While many anticipated a Messiah to come bringing deliverance, most thought He would come with a military force, overthrowing the Romans and reestablishing the throne of David. The Zealots were ready to join forces against their oppressors. Others envisioned fire and judgment falling on their enemies. Jesus did not appear in the way anyone anticipated. He came in humility and in the form of a servant. He taught love and faith, forgiveness and restitution. Even His own disciples questioned how He would gain authority and what their role would be in the future kingdom. James and John picked sides. Peter was ready to use His sword. Judas planned for the increase in finances. Everyone had a different idea of how it would all come to pass.
Slowly Jesus revealed that He had not come to overthrow the Romans. He chose a much different path. Matthew wrote, “Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Matthew 16:21 NKJ). That was not what anyone wanted to hear, but it was His plan from the beginning. He was to be, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 NKJ).
What appeared to be a tragic miscarriage of justice became the antidote for sin and the solution for the continual problem of sin. By the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ a permanent solution for the atonement of sin was given. Death was buried, the curse was answered, and total victory was purchased for all humanity. The resurrection of Jesus from the grave provided everyone; past, present and future, a hope beyond this life and the continuation of life for eternity. Paul wrote, “Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God” (Romans 6:9–10 NKJ).
There’s a new king on the throne. Jesus reigns in a spiritual kingdom that far exceeds any political position or temporal power on this earth. He removed the crown from death and Jesus reigns as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords!” Jesus reigns and grace abounds! “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:20–21 NKJ).
“We thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One” (1 Corinthians 15:57 TPT).