“Whom God has raised, having loosed the pains of death because it was not possible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:24).
Held (Def): (Gr.): Krateo from Kratos: Seize or retain; to use strength to keep, lay hold, take
When in the full strength of His mighty power it is impossible for anyone or anything to restrain, retain, or hold in confinement the Son of God. Jesus said it plainly:
“Therefore, does My Father love Me because I lay down My Life, that I might take it again. No man takes My Life from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father” (John 10:17-18).
David knew this truth of the Messiah and Peter spoke of it to the crowd on the Day of Pentecost:
“David spoke concerning the Christ, ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved. Therefore, did my heart rejoice and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope because You will not leave my soul in hell, neither will You suffer Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of Life, You shall make me full of joy with Your countenance'” (Acts 2:25-28).
This quote from Psalm 16:8-11 is a prophetic utterance of King David, as Peter acknowledged saying:
“Men and Brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the Patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on His Throne. He, seeing before spoke of the resurrection of Christ that His soul was not left in Hell, neither His flesh did see corruption. This Jesus has God raised, whereof we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:29-32).
This knowledge of Christ is so wonderful for the believer, just as it was to King David. Indeed, we can rejoice in the knowledge of Christ that His Life is more powerful than death. Though He willingly surrendered to it, death could not hold Him in its grip a second longer that He would permit.
Christ willingly surrendered His life to the pain and agony of death for an eternal purpose, the Redemption of Man and to obtain for Himself His Bride. He willingly surrendered His Life out from His great love wherewith He loved us as the Scripture says:
“But God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Death Could Not Hold Him and it cannot hold us who are in Christ for as Christ Himself exclaimed.
“I am the Resurrection and the Life, he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
There is a reality that death is in the world. We see it working every day. It is at work in us, that is in our mortal bodies. There is also the “dying of the Lord Jesus” as the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians:
“Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the Life also of Jesus might be manifest in our body” (II Corinthians 4:10).
This “dying of the Lord Jesus” is a voluntary laying down of our life (our soul life), that the Resurrection Life of Jesus (the Spirit life) may be made known (manifest) in our body. This “dying of the Lord Jesus” working in us is for a purpose, to bring forth the Resurrection Life of the Son through us to the glory of God. The Apostle knew this well and said:
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain: (Philippians 1:21). The gain for Christ in His death was Redemption for Mankind, and to gain His Bride; the gain for us in death is Eternal Life in the Son. Death cannot hold us from our New Life in Christ.
This “dying of the Lord Jesus” is part of our fellowship with Christ and our knowing Him in His Divine Nature as the Lamb of God. The Apostle wrote it this way in his Epistle to the Philippians:
“That I may know Him and the power of His Resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).
The good news is death has no dominion over the Resurrection Life of the Spirit. The Resurrection Life of the Spirit has set us free from the bondage, chains, agony and pains of death. Therefore, let us be as David was and see the Lord always before us and never be moved away from our rejoicing in the hope of Eternal Life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
“You will show me the path of Life, in Your Presence is fulness of joy and at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).