Shield of God.

Using the pearls of His wisdom and the light of His truth to protect us in this world. Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Christ Conquered Death. How The Apocryphal Texts Shed Light On This.

Christ triumphing over Death and Sin mg 0050

Christ triumphing over Death and Sin mg 0050 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christ conquered death.   I never fully understood  the use of the word ‘conquered’ here, because I never really understood who or what He fought to ‘conquer’ death. I understood the Biblical passages regarding Christ’s life and resurrection.  I understood how Christ brought back dead to life.  I understood how we will have eternal life with Christ. And in my heart I understand all that this entails.

Death, as we knew it, ceases to exist for believers once we are saved. Christ redeems  His believers, the subjects of His Kingdom, from death. We are given the chance to be redeemed and to live eternally through His Grace !

But I could never find any mention in the Bible to what happened with “death” from the time before Christ’s first arrival on earth up to His arrival when He overcame the power of death. Who controlled death then? What did it mean to die at that time, before Christ?

He battled death, He conquered and won.  But what does it mean when they say that Christ “conquered” death?

Did He grapple with a force? Something physical as well as spiritual must have happened, a battle must have ensued,  for this “conquering” to take place.  The Bible makes very physical references to the battle.

18  I was dead, but look! Now I’m alive forever and always. I have the keys of Death and the Grave.  

(Revelation 1:18 CJB)

18 I tell you that you are Peter. And I’ll build my church on this rock. The gates of the underworld won’t be able to stand against it. (Matthew 16:18 CJB)

44 When sown, it is an ordinary human body; when raised, it will be a body controlled by the Spirit. If there is an ordinary human body, there is also a body controlled by the Spirit. 45 In fact, the Tanakh says so: Adam, the first man, became a living human being;o but the last “Adam” has become a life-giving Spirit. 46 Note, however, that the body from the Spirit did not come first, but the ordinary human one; the one from the Spirit comes afterwards. 47 The first man is from the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 People born of dust are like the man of dust, and people born from heaven are like the man from heaven; 49 and just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, so also we will bear the image of the man from heaven. 50 Let me say this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot share in the Kingdom of God, nor can something that decays share in what does not decay. 51 Look, I will tell you a secret – not all of us will die! But we will all be changed! 52 It will take but a moment, the blink of an eye, at the final shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised to live forever, and we too will be changed. 53 For this material which can decay must be clothed with imperishability, this which is mortal must be clothed with immortality. 54When what decays puts on imperishability and what is mortal puts on immortality, then this passage in the Tanakh will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 “Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin; and sin draws its power from the Torah; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! 58 So, my dear brothers, stand firm and immovable, always doing the Lord’s work as vigorously as you can, knowing that united with the Lord your efforts are not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15: 44-58)

I found these very interesting passages in the apocryphal texts that “fill in the blanks” regarding how Jesus conquered death. They shed light on the fact that God never created death. It belonged to Satan. Apparently the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge then must have been some sort of covenant with Satan, since Adam and Eve became mortal, thus subject to Satan’s domain of death.  The Gospel of Bartholomew relates how Christ actually went to Hades and “won” the keys to Hades and Death.  It states how He entered the Kingdom of Hades and freed Adam and Eve and other ancient souls.  It also states how He crushed Hades.  Thus He has the keys!!!!

So the children of God who believe in Jesus would no longer be subject to Satan’s imposition of death.  The Gospel of Bartholomew also discusses how many souls leave the bodies every day and yet, how few actually enter heaven.

Wisdom 1 (CEBA)

12 Don’t seek death through the error of your ways. Don’t invite destruction on yourself by what you do. 13 God didn’t make death. God takes no delight in the ruin of anything that lives. 14 God created everything so that it might exist. The creative forces at work in the cosmos are life-giving. There is no destructive poison in them. The underworld doesn’t rule on earth. 15 Doing what is right means living forever.  16 In spite of this, the ungodly called out to death by what they did and said. Thinking that death was their friend, they lost their resolve and made a treaty with death. Let them have each other: death and the ungodly belong together!  (Wisdom 1: 12-16) Common English Bible w/apocrypha

 

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4 thoughts on “Christ Conquered Death. How The Apocryphal Texts Shed Light On This.

  1. Of the 3 non-canonical categories of books I would agree that the God can grow our faith with Apocrypha but Pseudepigrapha and Gnostic books are way too contradictory to the character of God revealed in the canon and as should be confirmed to each believer independently by the Holy Spirit.

    • I agree with you, the Gnostic books can be quite contradictory. I feel that they can be used as historical reference at times, not however as Gospel inspired by God. Reading any non canonical book needs discernment because they may have been serving other agendas, such as promoting more paganistic world views. However, my personal opinion is that everything needs discernment – be it the old and modern translations of the Bible and their omissions and interpretations, understanding what may have been behind many Nicean council and later council decisions regarding what is canonical and why – the motives of Constantine – etc…. Regarding the Holy Spirit confirming to us, I think that this is not only crucial to guide us in our understanding of God, but it is crucial in every sector of our lives. It is important to know what is out there, and why it is there so that we can avoid deception. Personally, I only read and write what the Holy Spirit has led me to, and I live my life listening to the Holy Spirit guide and confirm. I believe that the character of God is revealed all around us, through Creation and through Scripture. We need to be able to understand and discern both the nature of the world around us and the nature of what is and isnt Scripture to understand God better. God wants us to ask, seek, test, question, to be active in our faith. All of the apocrypha books were revealed for a reason. Also, the questionable character and behavior of Constantine was there for a reason. These are all part of God’s plans, revealing to us the complex, multifaceted nature of this world in which not everything is what it appears to be, thus it is the testing ground where we have to learn to hold our ground, keep our faith, know God, follow Jesus, repent, and walk the narrow path amid the traps and illusions. Keeping our mind on Jesus, staying on the narrow path, using the Scripture as our base, and the Holy Spirit as our guide, we can handle everything that comes our way as we travel our life journey in this world- be it handling apocrypha books that are disputed as to their canonical/non canonical nature, various historical and archaeological accounts that muddle what we know to be true, the deceptive nature of society or even scientific developments that shake and test many unsuspecting believers. God Bless.

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