Then I must add a word more before we turn our gaze away. We must not stop here. Please remember always that as the death was the climax of the life, the resurrection was the climax of the death. We want always to couple in our thinking two things, Calvary and the resurrection; for in both our Lord Jesus Christ was Victor. The resurrection was the climax of Calvary. Our Lord lay for, using the Bible language, three days and three nights under the bonds of death, and then—run the flag to the top of the mast, and pull out all the stops, and bring out the diapason of the full organ,—our Lord Jesus Christ rose Victor over death. He bursts apart the bonds of death like cotton thread, and He rises up.
Did He rise, or was He raised? Both. He was raised up by the power of the Father, for His whole life was lived in the power of His Father. And He rose. He went down of His own accord into the portals of death for man’s sins. Then He rose at will. When He chose to, He rose up by the moral gravity of His own life and character up toward the centre of His life.
The centre of gravity of life naturally is upward. The sin centre-of-gravity is downward. Our natural gravity is upward. But we are so undermined with sin that our moral gravity has become downward. But His gravity was toward a centre upward. And when the work was done, and He had lain there those days and nights, at will He rises up with the ease of breathing, because He was Lord of life. His rising up spells anew that word “Victory.”
Because the word victory has a three-fold meaning regarding our Lord Jesus Christ. He won for us a triple victory; first in His life from cradle to Calvary, victory in the kind of life He lived. And He was our Substitute, if you will mark it keenly, in His life as well as in His death. Then there was the victory in His death, and then, the victory of victories, in the resurrection.
And now we are to live in the power of His death and His resurrection. Had He simply died we would have been justified, but we would have been dead. A clean score, but ourselves dead. At Calvary we are simply justified in regard to the past. On the third morning we are justified, reckoned righteous, and made righteous, and given new life, eternal life through Him. Wondrous Jesus Christ! Wondrous Saviour! Wondrous Victor!