Pangs Have Been Loosed
"[T]his Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it." -Acts 2:23–24
This is part of the defining sermon at the foundation of the church. Peter is preaching to the gathered crowd who came around when the Holy Spirit fell on the believers waiting after Jesus' ascension. This is what the preacher says of Jesus, that he was delivered according to plan, to solve the wrath against sin, and he was raised up because death couldn't hold him.
We know this pretty well if we have been around the church for any length of time. But let us not move over it quickly today because this is actually the center of our hope in life today and proof of the finished work of the cross for us. These words of Peter are true, and because what he describes happened, we are forever changed and empowered to live.
This is the place of our justification — our being made right with God and ability to be in relationship with him. This is our reconciliation. That Jesus was crucified. It is a stunner. That God himself would come and be a perfect sacrifice, once for all, for sinful and wretched people. This is our place of transformation. Because he has done it, we are as believers in him, forever kept and justified. Transformed from those deserving wrath into Children of God.
We are then continually transformed as we live in the wake of the resurrection. We know we have new life, new purpose, and a new future because Jesus rose from the grave. The same power over death that rolled the stone away is given to us by the Spirit to face life as transformed people.
Today, cling to the truths of this death and resurrection. Know they were for you. You are forever transformed and empowered to live in Christ. Head out there as you embrace these truths and thrive.
This is an excerpt from my devotional called Depths.