It is important to remember that death is not only a law or a principle. It is that; but the Scriptures constantly make clear that behind the thing there is a person. Back of death is he “that had the power of death, that is, the devil”. Conybeare translates that: “the lord of death”. The great battle which took place at the exodus of Israel from Egypt was really a battle between Jehovah and “all the gods of Egypt” (Exodus 12:12), which gods were but the spiritual hierarchy of him who had ever made it his aim to be “like the Most High”, and had assumed the role of “the god of this world”. A right understanding of that story would make very clear that it was a conflict between the Lord of life and the lord of death, and that the Hebrews were only translated out of the kingdom of darkness and the authority of death because a lamb had shed its blood, and through death had figuratively destroyed him that had the power of death.
This was fulfilled at Calvary, for on the Cross Christ drew on Himself the whole hierarchy of evil, and went down under it to the bottommost reach of its domain, and then, by reason of the life which could not be holden of death, He stripped off principalities and powers, broke through, and rose their Conqueror. It was in resurrection far above all rule and authority that He became the Firstborn from the dead, the first and inclusive One of all who should be identified with Him.
Let us point out that after His resurrection our Lord was, because of the peculiar nature of His resurrection state, no longer subject to natural limitations. Time and space now had no control of Him. This principle abides, and it applies now. When there is a living in the values and energy of resurrection life we are children of eternity and of the universe. Prayer touches the ends of the earth, and the significance of our being and doing is of universal and eternal dimensions: there are no limitations.
So then, beloved of God, the natural life is no longer a criterion; whether it be strong or weak matters not. Its weakness does not carry a handicap. We are called to live and serve only in His life, which is the only efficient and sure one. What is true of the Head must be true of the members. What is true of the Vine must be true of the branches. What is true of the last Adam must be true of every member of His race. “Planted together in the likeness of his resurrection”, said the apostle (Romans 6:5), and he prayed that it might be more and more experimental: “that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection” (Philippians 3:10). That should be the prayer of every true Spirit-led servant of Christ.
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