I. RESURRECTION CONQUERING DEATH
Life could be subdued by death, but resurrection conquers death; hence, resurrection is stronger than life. We have to investigate this statement. Was the Lord Jesus’ life subdued? If you say "yes," I say "no"; and if you say "no," I say "yes." If His life was not subdued, how could He have been killed? In Acts 3:15, Peter told the men of Israel that they had killed the Author of life. The Lord Jesus’ life could be subdued because He was killed. Eventually, however, He was not subdued. He was subdued temporarily for three days, but after three days He was not subdued. Apparently, visibly, and physically, He was subdued. But intrinsically, invisibly, and spiritually, He was not subdued.
When He was crucified on the cross, He was stripping away all the rulers and authorities as spoken of in Colossians 2:15. Furthermore, when He was buried physically in the tomb, His spirit was very active. After dying in the flesh, Christ was still active in His spirit to proclaim to the spirits in prison, to the rebellious angels, God’s victory through Him over Satan (1 Pet. 3:18b-19). While Christ’s body was buried in the tomb, He was active in His spirit in Hades, so He was not subdued. Eventually, He conquered death, and death was subdued. He walked out of death. Thus, on the one hand, He was subdued by death; on the other hand, He was not subdued by death.
II. BEFORE HIS DEATH CHRIST BEING NOT ONLY LIFE
BUT ALSO RESURRECTION
Before His death, Christ was not only life but also resurrection. Before His death He told Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25). Christ was the resurrection before He died. This is beyond our understanding, but it is a divine fact.
III. CHRIST HAVING AUTHORITY
TO LAY HIS LIFE DOWN OF HIMSELF
AND HAVING AUTHORITY TO TAKE IT AGAIN
Christ had authority to lay His life down of Himself, and He had authority to take it again (John 10:17-18). The Greek word for life here is not the eternal life, but the soul-life, psuche. Visibly, Christ was arrested and put to death by others, but actually He laid down His soul, His human life, of Himself to accomplish redemption for us. After three days, He exercised His authority to take His life back in resurrection.
(The Christian Life, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)