Do you feel down, beat up and pushed around maybe kicked in the mouth? Where is your victory? Or do you feel mighty and strong and ready to push on? Where is your victory?
We are in John chapter 8 and Jesus has been talking with the Jews trying to help them understand that He is the Messiah. But, for the most part, the Jews want no part of it. So now we pick up the story in John 8:28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, the Messiah - and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.
Jesus said, when you lift up the Son of Man, you will know I am He. Of course, Jesus was talking about His crucifixion – when He is lifted up upon the cross of Calvary. The word lifted is a rather curious word. It is only used four times in the New Testament. It is used one time in John chapter three when Jesus was talking about Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness. The other three times it refers to Jesus being lifted up upon the cross. That alone is not curious, but the word means to be exalted. Exalted and crucifixion almost seem like polar opposites. How could one ever be exalted by hanging upon a cross? But such is the kingdom of God!
Paul wrote in the book of Philippians chapter two, let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth. The word exalted here is not the exact same word but comes from the word in John chapter eight. Here Jesus is exalted - lifted up- to the highest place of honor.
So think about this, Jesus gave Himself upon the cross, but the death of Jesus Christ is nothing, and He is not exalted, if that is all it was, if it was just a death, in effect, Jesus Christ was just as martyr. He was just a man who died for a religious cause. I Corinthians 15: 17 and if Christ is not raised your faith is in vain, and you are yet in your sins. And we of all men are most miserable. Many have sacrificed their lives for others. Many have sacrificed their lives for the sake of the gospel. Jesus died upon the cross, was buried and then resurrected for your justification. You are made right with God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was not a martyr; He is a savior for He is resurrected, He is exalted and lives forever more.
The resurrection corroborated, substantiated and proved beyond the shadow of a doubt the message of Jesus Christ. That message is you must be born again to receive eternal life, and eternal life only comes through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and His shed blood for the forgiveness of sin. From Genesis 1:1 to Revelations 22:21 is the message of God; it’s the story of God redeeming a lost and sinful man through the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary and that those who place their faith in Jesus Christ would have eternal life and spend all of eternity in the presence of God. You can hang on our hat on that truth. You can go to the bank on that truth because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. Oh victory in Jesus, oh victory in Jesus!