Christ Triumphant Over Sin And Essay
In my preparation for preaching I read Good Friday and Easter sermons which have been prepared by others (both online and in printed homiletical resources).Several of these sermons conveyed the message that the Lord’s victory over his age-old adversaries happened only at the resurrection and not beforehand (i.e., at the cross). Take for example the Easter hymn by Paul Gerhardt, “Awake, My Heart, with Gladness” 467).But it is in fact in reflecting on the content of my own preaching that I have come to view this as a significant deficiency.
In the sixteenth century the Protestant religious leaders did not, indeed, deny the doctrine of original sin ─ many of them, in fact, exaggerated it; but while they kept the sound form of words, they understood them in a new way, and the nature of their doctrinal content was altered and degraded.THE study of the dogma of the fall of man and its corollary, original sin, is interesting from many points of view.If we look at its first beginnings at the dawn of human history, and its echoes or analogies or counterparts, whichever they be, that we found in the traditions, myths, and legends of many ancient peoples, we are led into a vast field of research in which, of late years, many scholars of eminence have busies themselves, and where, only too often, imagination and the desire to justify preconceived theories have taken the place of argument and sound reasoning upon sure evidence.The implication of these lyrics is that the routing of Satan didn’t occur until Jesus rose from the dead. But short was their triumph: the Savior arose, and death, hell, and Satan He vanquished, His foes.The conquering Lord lifts His banner on high; He lives, yes, He lives, and will nevermore die.And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Col -15).Similarly, the writer to the Hebrews points to the death of Jesus as the event at which Satan was conquered: “He [Christ] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Heb. It was by Christ’s that Satan and his power were undone.Rather, the cross was the victory won, and the resurrection the victory endorsed, proclaimed and demonstrated. The resurrection demonstrates the efficacy of this, vindicates Jesus’ claims and promises, and declares with power that Jesus is the Son of God who is Lord of all.“It was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” [Acts ], because death had already been defeated. The empty tomb is the Father’s endorsement of the finished work of his Son.With full crescendo I join with the church in singing “Jesus Lives! The joyous proclamation of this truth at Easter is not my concern. What is troubling to me is the communication that Christ’s conquest over sin and Satan was not achieved at the cross.I note this because I continue to preach regularly and in fact did so on Good Friday and Easter.