Christ Conquered Death. How The Apocryphal Texts Shed Light On This.
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.
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
The Gospel (Questions) of St Bartholomew pdf View more ebooks on ebookbrowse.com
- Messiah, Prince of Peace (savedbygraceblogdotcom.wordpress.com)
- A Christian View of Death: Death Conquered! (calvinistview.com)
- Sermon: Luke 12:49-59 – Jesus: The Great Divider (firstbaptistscottcity.wordpress.com)
- If Jesus is God, how could he die? If Jesus died on the cross, then how can he be alive today? (savedbygraceblogdotcom.wordpress.com)