WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 10, 2023
TOPIC: CHRIST’S RESURRECTION: THE TRIUMPH OF GOOD OVER EVIL
BY T. O. BANSO
“But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24 New International Version).
The resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after His crucifixion signifies the triumph of good over evil. This is against the backdrop of Pilate finding Him innocent yet delivering Him to the Jewish religious leaders to be crucified.
In Luke 23:4, Pilate told the chief priests and the crowd that he found no fault in Him. In verse 14, he said to the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him” (New King James Version).
The Apostle John also records Pilate’s statement in John 18:38 that he found “no fault in Him at all.” John 19:4 says, “Pilate then went out again, and said to them, ‘Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him’” (New King James Version). For the third time, Pilate restated his verdict that he found no fault in Him yet handed Him over to be crucified. “Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, ‘Crucify Him, crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him’” (John 19:6 New King James Version).
Is it not evil to hand over an innocent person to be crucified? Even Judas Iscariot, the disciple of Jesus who betrayed Him, testified that He was innocent. He said in Matthew 27:4, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood” (New King James Version). To help her husband not to have a hand in the plot to kill Jesus, Pilate’s wife sent a message to him as he was sitting on the judgment seat, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him” (Matthew 27:19b New King James Version).
The word “just” in that verse means “innocent”. The New International Version puts the verse thus: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” So Pilate and his wife believed that Jesus was innocent.
Normally, when someone is found innocent in court, he should be set free. But when evil people are at work, that principle is set aside or violated. The innocent can be convicted and the guilty can be set free! That was what happened when the crowd demanded the release of a notorious prisoner, a rebel and murderer, and a robber called Barabbas (Matthew 27:16; Mark 15:7; John 18:40). Instead, they cried that Jesus, an innocent, peaceful, and righteous man should be crucified because the chief priests and elders had persuaded the crowd to make that choice (Matthew 27:17, 20).
Matthew 27:21- 26 says, “The governor answered and said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release to you?’ They said, ‘Barabbas!’ Pilate said to them, ‘What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, ‘Let Him be crucified!’ Then the governor said, ‘Why, what evil has He done?’ But they cried out all the more, saying, ‘Let Him be crucified!’ When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.’ And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and on our children.’ Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified” (New King James Version).
Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (New King James Version). What happened to Jesus was a perversion of justice but it was the will of God for Him to be crucified for the sins of the world. Good will eventually triumph over evil. The chief priests and elders achieved their goal of crucifying Jesus and they must have felt fulfilled that they had gotten rid of Him at last. But the triumphing of the wicked is short (Job 20:5a).
Matthew 27:62-66 says, “On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, ‘Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ ‘Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.’ Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.’ So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard” (New King James Version).
But the chief priests and elders only made a fool of themselves. The disciples they thought would steal Jesus’ body had no such plan. They were living in fear and not anywhere near His tomb. Only Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, two of the followers of Jesus, went to the tomb, sitting opposite (Matthew 27:61). His resurrection that Jesus spoke about had nothing to do with His disciples coming to steal His body. And at the time of His resurrection, the guards wouldn’t be able to stop Him from coming out of the tomb alive. Good would triumph over all the evil the conspirators had perpetrated.
Thus, on the day Jesus was resurrected, nobody could resist what God had planned to do for His Son: raise Him from the dead. Good must triumph over evil. Matthew 28:2-4 says, “And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men” (New King James Version).
Death couldn’t hold Jesus captive. Peter, in his sermon, on the day of Pentecost, said, “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24 New International Version). The chief priests and the elders together with their guards couldn’t prevent Jesus from rising from the dead. No guard could stop the earthquake that announced the resurrection of Jesus or stop the angel of God that rolled back the sealed stone and sat on it. Good triumphed over evil.
The religious leaders bribed the soldiers with a large sum of money to lie that the disciples of Jesus came at night and stole Him away while they were asleep and that if it came to the governor’s ears, they would appease him and make them secure. Unfortunately, some people believed the propaganda. But Jesus showed Himself at different times to His disciples that He was alive. Acts 1:3 says, “After his suffering, he showed himself to these men [His apostles] and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God” (New International Version).
Jesus was confirmed dead by Pilate (Mark 15:44-45). Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus buried Him (John 19:38-40). And God raised Him from the dead on the third day. He turned the wisdom of the religious leaders into foolishness. As 1 Corinthians 2:8 says, none of the rulers of this age understood God’s secret wisdom, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
God did not leave the soul of Jesus in Sheol or allow His Holy One to see corruption (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27, 31; 13:35). God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 6:14, 15:15; 1 Thessalonians 1:10). Death could not hold Him captive. The resurrection of Jesus signifies the triumph of good over evil; the triumph of life over death.
Colossians 2:15 says having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Through His death and resurrection, He has delivered us from the power of sin. Romans 4:25 says He was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised because of our justification.
Christ is risen! Good has triumphed over evil, life over death.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As death could not hold Him captive, no power shall hold me captive in Jesus’ name. As good triumphs over evil and life over death, I shall triumph over every evil. Father, You raised Jesus from the dead; give life to my mortal body by Your Spirit that dwells in me.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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