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Redemption

And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried.

The Spir­it of the Lord is upon me to bring good tid­ings to the afflict­ed… to bind up the bro­ken-heart­ed, to pro­claim lib­er­ty to the cap­tives, and the open­ing of the prison to those who are bound… to com­fort all who mourn… to give them a gar­land instead of ash­es, the oil of glad­ness instead of mourn­ing” (Isa 61:1–3).

And at the same time, Jesus had to do this as the suf­fer­ing ser­vant of Yah­weh-God.

He was despised and reject­ed by men, a man of sor­rows, and acquaint­ed with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised. and we esteemed him not.

Sure­ly he has borne our griefs and car­ried our sor­rows, yet we esteemed him strick­en, smit­ten by God and afflict­ed.

But he was wound­ed for our trans­gres­sions, he was bruised for our iniq­ui­ties, upon him was the chas­tise­ment that made us whole, and by his stripes [i.e., wounds] we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every­one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniq­ui­ty of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflict­ed, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaugh­ter, and like a sheep that before his shear­ers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.

By oppres­sion and judge­ment he was tak­en away… And they made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no vio­lence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord (Yah­weh) to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes him­self an offer­ing for sin, he shall see his off­spring, he shall pro­long his days; the will of the Lord shall pros­per in his hand; he shall see the fruit of the tra­vail of his soul and be sat­is­fied; by his knowl­edge shall the right­eous one, my ser­vant, make many to be account­ed right­eous; and he shall bear their iniq­ui­ties.

There­fore I will divide him a por­tion with the great and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was num­bered with the trans­gres­sors; yet he bore the sin of many [or the mul­ti­tude] and made inter­ces­sion for the trans­gres­sors (Isa 53).

These words of the prophet Isa­iah writ­ten cen­turies before the birth of Jesus tell the sto­ry of his Mes­sian­ic mis­sion. It began offi­cial­ly before the eyes of all in his bap­tism by John in the Jor­dan. By allow­ing him­self to be bap­tized with the sin­ners though he had no sin, Jesus shows that he accepts his call­ing to be iden­ti­fied with the sin­ners: “the Beloved” of the Father and “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29; Mt 3:17).

Jesus begins to teach, and on the very day and at that very moment when his dis­ci­ples first con­fess him to be the Mes­si­ah, “the Christ, the Son of the Liv­ing God,” Jesus tells imme­di­ate­ly of his mis­sion to “go to Jerusalem and suf­fer many things… and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Mt 16:16–23; Mk 8:29–33). The apos­tles are great­ly upset by this. Jesus then imme­di­ate­ly shows them his divin­i­ty by being trans­fig­ured before them in divine glo­ry on the moun­tain in the pres­ence of Moses and Eli­jah. He then tells them once more: “The Son of Man is to be deliv­ered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day” (Mt 17:1–23; Mk 9:1–9).

The pow­ers of evil mul­ti­plied against Christ at the end: “The kings of the earth coun­sel togeth­er against the Lord and His Christ” (Ps 2:2). They were look­ing for caus­es to kill him. The for­mal rea­son was blas­phe­my, “because you, being a man, make your­self God” (Jn 10:31–38). Yet the deep rea­sons were more per­son­al: Jesus told men the truth and revealed their stub­born­ness, fool­ish­ness, hypocrisy, and sin. For this rea­son every sin­ner, hard­ened in his sins and refus­ing to repent, wish­es and caus­es the cru­ci­fix­ion of Christ.

The death of Jesus came at the hands of the reli­gious and polit­i­cal lead­ers of his time, with the approval of the mass­es: when Caiaphas was high priest, “under Pon­tius Pilate.” He was “cru­ci­fied for us… and suf­fered and was buried” in order to be with us in our suf­fer­ings and death which we brought upon our­selves because of our sins: “for the wages of sin are death” (Rom 6:23). In this sense the Apos­tle Paul writes of Jesus that “hav­ing become a curse for us” (Gal 3:13), “for our sake he (God the Father) made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the right­eous­ness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).

The suf­fer­ings and death of Christ in obe­di­ence to the Father reveals the super-abun­dant divine love of God for his cre­ation. For when all was sin­ful, cursed, and dead, Christ became sin, a curse, and dead for us—though he him­self nev­er ceased to be the right­eous­ness and blessed­ness and life of God Him­self. It is to this depth, of which low­er and more base can­not be dis­cov­ered or imag­ined, that Christ has humil­i­at­ed him­self “for us men and for our sal­va­tion.” For being God, he became man; and being man, he became a slave; and being a slave, he became dead and not only dead, but dead on a cross. From this deep­est degra­da­tion of God flows the eter­nal exal­ta­tion of man. This is the piv­otal doc­trine of the Ortho­dox Chris­t­ian faith, expressed over and again in many ways through­out the his­to­ry of the Ortho­dox Church. It is the doc­trine of the atone­ment—for we are made to be “at one” with God. It is the doc­trine of redemp­tion—for we are redeemed, i.e., “bought with a price,” the great price of the blood of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor 6:20).

Have this mind among your­selves which you have in Christ Jesus who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equal­i­ty with God a thing to be grasped, but emp­tied Him­self, tak­ing the form of a ser­vant [slave], being born in the like­ness of men. And being found in human form, He hum­bled Him­self and became obe­di­ent unto death, even death on a cross. There­fore God has high­ly exalt­ed Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heav­en and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue con­fess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glo­ry of God the Father (Phil 2:5–11).

In con­tem­plat­ing the sav­ing and redeem­ing action of Christ, it has become tra­di­tion­al to empha­size three aspects which in real­i­ty are not divid­ed, and can­not be; but which in the­o­ry (i.e., in the vision of Christ’s being.and activ­i­ty as the Sav­iour of the world) may be dis­tin­guished. The first of these three aspects of the redeem­ing work of Christ is the fact that Jesus saves mankind by pro­vid­ing the per­fect image and exam­ple of human life as filled with the grace and pow­er of God.


Jesus, the Perfect Image of Human Life

Christ is the incar­nate Word of God. He is the Teacher and Mas­ter sent by God to the world. He is the embod­i­ment of God Him­self in human form. He is “the image of the invis­i­ble God” (Col 1:15). In Him “the full­ness of divin­i­ty dwells bod­i­ly” (Col 2:9). The per­son who sees Jesus sees God the Father (Jn 14:9). He is the “reflec­tion of the glo­ry of God and the express image of His per­son” (Heb 1:3). He is the “light of the world” who “enlight­ens every man…coming into the world” (Jn 8:12, 1:9). To be saved by Jesus Christ is first of all to be enlight­ened by Him; to see Him as the Light, and to see all things in the light of Him. It is to know Him as “the Truth” (Jn 14:6); and to know the truth in Him.

And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free (Jn 8:31).

When one is saved by God in Christ one comes to the knowl­edge of the truth, ful­fill­ing God’s desire for His crea­tures, for “God our Sav­iour… desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowl­edge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). In sav­ing God’s world, Jesus Christ enlight­ens God’s crea­tures by the Holy Spir­it, the Spir­it of God who is the Spir­it of Truth who pro­ceeds from the Father and is sent into the world through Christ.

If you love Me, you will keep My com­mand­ments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you anoth­er Coun­selor, to be with you for­ev­er, even the Spir­it of Truth, whom the world can­not receive, because it nei­ther sees Him nor knows Him; you know Him, for He dwells with you, and will be in you (Jn 14:15–17).

But the Coun­selor, the Holy Spir­it, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remem­brance all that I have said to you… (Jn 15:26).

When the Spir­it of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth… (Jn 16:13).

The first aspect of sal­va­tion in Christ, there­fore, is to be enlight­ened by Him and to know the truth about God and man by the guid­ance of the Holy Spir­it, the Spir­it of Truth, which God gives through Him to those who believe. This is wit­nessed to in the apos­tolic writ­ings of Saints John and Paul:

Now we have received not the spir­it of the world, but the Spir­it which is from God, that we might under­stand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wis­dom, but taught by the Spir­it, inter­pret­ing spir­i­tu­al truths to those who pos­sess the Spir­it. […] For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:13–16).

For [God] has made known to us in all wis­dom and insight the mys­tery of His will, accord­ing to His pur­pose which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the full­ness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heav­en and things on earth. […] To me… this grace was giv­en… to make all men see what is the plan of the mys­tery hid­den for ages in God… that through the church the man­i­fold wis­dom of God might now be made known… (Eph 1:8–10; 3:9).

For I want… that their hearts may be encour­aged as they are knit togeth­er in love, to have all the rich­es of assured under­stand­ing and the knowl­edge of God’s mys­tery in Christ, in whom are hid all the trea­sures of wis­dom and knowl­edge (Col 2:1–3).

But you have been anoint­ed by the Holy One, and you know all things I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth. […] but the anoint­ing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as His anoint­ing teach­es you about every­thing, and is true and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in Him. […] And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spir­it which He has giv­en to us (1 Jn 2:20–27; 3:24).

The first aspect of man’s sal­va­tion by God in Christ is, there­fore, the abil­i­ty and pow­er to see, to know, to believe and to love the truth of God in Christ, who is the Truth, by the Spir­it of Truth. It is the gift of knowl­edge and wis­dom, of illu­mi­na­tion and enlight­en­ment, it is the con­di­tion of being “taught by God” as fore­told by the prophets and ful­filled by Christ (Isa 54:13; Jer 31:33–34; Jn 6:45). Thus, in the Ortho­dox Church, the entrance into the sav­ing life of the Church through bap­tism and chris­ma­tion is called “holy illu­mi­na­tion.”

For it is God who said, “Let light shine out of dark­ness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowl­edge of the glo­ry of God in the face of Christ (2 Cor 4:6).


Jesus, the Reconciler of Man with God

The sec­ond aspect of Christ’s one, indi­vis­i­ble act of sal­va­tion of man and his world is the accom­plish­ment of man’s rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with God the Father through the for­give­ness of sins. This is the redemp­tion and atone­ment strict­ly speak­ing, the release from sins, and the pun­ish­ment due to sins; the being made “at one” with God.

While we were yet help­less, at the right time Christ died for the ungod­ly. Why, one will hard­ly die for a right­eous man—though per­haps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sin­ners Christ died for us. Since there­fore we are now made right­eous by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were ene­mies we were rec­on­ciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are rec­on­ciled, shall we be saved by His life. Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our rec­on­cil­i­a­tion (Rom 5:6–11).

There­fore if any­one is in Christ, he is a new cre­ation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ rec­on­ciled us to Him­self and gave us the min­istry of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion; that is, God was in Christ rec­on­cil­ing the world to Him­self, not count­ing their tres­pass­es against them, and entrust­ing to us the mes­sage of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion (2 Cor 5:17–19).

The for­give­ness of sins is one of the signs of the com­ing of the Christ, the Mes­si­ah, as fore­told in the Old Tes­ta­ment:

… they shall all know me, from the least to the great­est, says the Lord; for I will for­give their iniq­ui­ty, and I will remem­ber their sin no more (Jer 31:34).

Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, the Lamb that is slain that through Him all sins might be for­giv­en. He is also the great high priest, who offers the per­fect sac­ri­fice by which man is purged from his sins and cleansed from his iniq­ui­ties. Jesus offers, as high priest, the per­fect sac­ri­fice of His own very life, His own body, as the Lamb of God, upon the tree of the cross.

For to this you have been called, because Christ suf­fered for you, leav­ing you an exam­ple that you should fol­low in His steps. He com­mit­ted no sin; no guile was found on His lips. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suf­fered, He did not threat­en; but He trust­ed to Him who judges just­ly. He Him­self bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to right­eous­ness. By His wounds you have been healed. For you were stray­ing like sheep, but have now returned to the Pas­tor and Bish­op of your souls (1 Pet 2:22–25).

The high-priest­ly offer­ing and sac­ri­fice of the Son of God to His eter­nal Father is described in great detail in the Let­ter to the Hebrews in the New Tes­ta­ment scrip­tures.

In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and sup­pli­ca­tions, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard for His god­ly fear. Although He was a Son, He learned obe­di­ence through what He suf­fered, and being made per­fect, He became the source of eter­nal sal­va­tion to all who obey Him, being des­ig­nat­ed a high priest by God, accord­ing to the order of Melchizedek (Heb 5:7–10).

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come… He entered once for all into the Holy Place [not made by hands, i.e., the Pres­ence of God] tak­ing… His own blood, thus secur­ing an eter­nal redemp­tion. For if the sprin­kling of defiled per­sons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ash­es of a heifer sancti?es for the puri?cation of the ?esh, how much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eter­nal Spir­it offered Him­self with­out blem­ish to God, puri­fy your con­science from dead works to serve the liv­ing God. There­fore, He is the medi­a­tor of a new covenant, so that

those who are called may receive the promised eter­nal inher­i­tance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the trans­gres­sions under the first covenant. (Hebrews 9:11–15)

Accord­ing to the scrip­tures, man’s sins and the sins of the whole world are for­giv­en and par­doned by the sac­ri­fice of Christ, by the offer­ing of His life — His body and His blood, which is the‘“blood of God” (Acts 20:28) — upon the cross. This is the “redemp­tion,” the “ran­som,” the “expi­a­tion,” the “pro­pi­ti­a­tion” spo­ken about in the scrip­tures which had to be made so that man could be “at one” with God. Christ “paid the price” which was nec­es­sary to be paid for the world to be par­doned and cleansed of all iniq­ui­ties and sins. (1 Corinthi­ans 6:20; 7:23)

In the his­to­ry of Chris­t­ian doc­trine there has been great debate over the ques­tion of to whom Christ “pays the price” for the ran­som of the world and the sal­va­tion of mankind. Some have said that the “pay­ment” was made to the dev­il. This is the view that the dev­il received cer­tain “rights” over man and his world because of man’s sin. In his rebel­lion against God, man “sold him­self to the dev­il” thus allow­ing the Evil One to become the “prince of this world.” (John 12:31) Christ comes to pay the debt to the dev­il and to release man from his con­trol by sac­ri­fic­ing Him­self upon the cross.

Oth­ers say that Christ’s “pay­ment” on behalf of man had to be made to God the Father. This is the view which inter­prets Christ’s sac­ri­fi­cial death on the cross as the prop­er pun­ish­ment that had to be paid to sat­is­fy God’s wrath over the human race. God was insult­ed by man’s sin. His law was bro­ken and His right­eous­ness was offend­ed. Man had to pay the penal­ty for his sin by offer­ing the prop­er pun­ish­ment. But no amount of human pun­ish­ment could sat­is­fy God’s jus­tice because God’s jus­tice is divine. Thus the Son of God had to be born into the world and receive the pun­ish­ment that was right­ly to be placed on men. He had to die in order for God to receive prop­er sat­is­fac­tion for man’s offens­es against Him. Christ sub­sti­tut­ed Him­self on our behalf and died for our sins, offer­ing His blood as the sat­is­fy­ing sac­ri­fice for the sins of the world. By dying on the cross in place of sin­ful man, Christ pays the full and total pay­ment for man’s sins. God’s wrath is removed. Man’s insult is pun­ished. The world is rec­on­ciled with its Cre­ator.

Com­ment­ing on this ques­tion about to whom Christ “pays the price” for man’s sal­va­tion, St. Gre­go­ry the The­olo­gian in the fourth cen­tu­ry wrote the fol­low­ing in his sec­ond East­er Ora­tion:

Now we are to exam­ine anoth­er fact and dog­ma, neglect­ed by most peo­ple, but in my judg­ment well worth enquir­ing into. To whom was that Blood offered that was shed for us, and why was It shed? I mean the pre­cious and famous Blood of our God and High Priest and Sac­ri­fice.

We were detained in bondage by the Evil One, sold under sin, and receiv­ing plea­sure in exchange for wicked­ness. Now, “since a ran­som belongs only to him who holds in bondage, I ask to whom was this offered, and for what cause?

If to the Evil One, fie upon the out­rage! If the rob­ber receives ran­som, not only from God, but a ran­som which con­sists of God Him­self, and has such an illus­tri­ous pay­ment for his tyran­ny, then it would have been right for him to have left us alone alto­geth­er!

But if to God the Father, I ask first, how? For it was not by Him that we were being oppressed. And next, on what prin­ci­ple did the Blood of His only-begot­ten Son delight the Father, who would not receive even Isaac, when he was being sac­ri­ficed by his father, (Abra­ham), but changed the sac­ri­fice by putting a ram in the place of the human vic­tim? (See Gen­e­sis 22)

Is it not evi­dent that the Father accepts Him, but nei­ther asked for Him nor demand­ed Him; but on account of the incar­na­tion, and because Human­i­ty must be sanc­ti­fied by the Human­i­ty of God, that He might deliv­er us Him­self, and over­come the tyrant (i.e., the dev­il) and draw us to Him­self by the medi­a­tion of His Son who also arranged this to the hon­or of the Father, whom it is man­i­fest He obeys in all things.

In Ortho­dox the­ol­o­gy gen­er­al­ly it can be said that the lan­guage of “pay­ment” and “ran­som” is rather under­stood as a metaphor­i­cal and sym­bol­i­cal way of say­ing that Christ has done all things nec­es­sary to save and redeem mankind enslaved to the dev­il, sin and death, and under the wrath of God. He “paid the price,” not in some legal­is­tic or juridi­cal or eco­nom­ic mean­ing. He “paid the price” not to the dev­il whose rights over man were won by deceit and tyran­ny. He “paid the price” not to God the Father in the sense that God delights in His suf­fer­ings and received “sat­is­fac­tion” from His crea­tures in Him. He “paid the price” rather, we might say, to Real­i­ty Itself. He “paid the price” to cre­ate the con­di­tions in and through which man might receive the for­give­ness of sins and eter­nal life by dying and ris­ing again in Him to new­ness of life. (See Romans 5–8; Gala­tians 2–4)

By dying on the cross and ris­ing from the dead, Jesus Christ cleansed the world from evil and sin. He defeat­ed the dev­il “in his own ter­ri­to­ry” and on “his own terms.” The “wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) So the Son of God became man and took upon Him­self the sins of the world and died a vol­un­tary death. By His sin­less and inno­cent death accom­plished entire­ly by His free will — and not by phys­i­cal, moral, or juridi­cal neces­si­ty — He made death to die and to become itself the source and the way into life eter­nal. This is what the Church sings on the feast of the Res­ur­rec­tion, the New Passover in Christ, the new Paschal Lamb, who is risen from the dead:

Christ is risen from the dead!

Tram­pling down death by death!

And upon those in the tombs bestow­ing life! (East­er Tropar­i­on)

And this is how the Church prays at the divine litur­gy of Saint Basil the Great:

He was God before the ages, yet He appeared on earth and lived among men, becom­ing incar­nate of a holy Vir­gin;

He emp­tied Him­self, tak­ing the form of a ser­vant, being likened to the body of our low­li­ness, that He might liken us to the image of His Glo­ry.

For as by man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so it pleased Thine Only-begot­ten Son, who was in the bosom of Thee, the God and Father, who was born of a woman, the holy Theotokos and ever-vir­gin Mary, who was born under the law to con­demn sin in His ?esh, so that those who were dead in Adam might be made alive in Thy Christ Him­self.

He lived in this world and gave com­mand­ments of sal­va­tion; releas­ing us from the delu­sions of idol­a­try, He brought us to knowl­edge of Thee, the true God and Father. He obtained us for His own cho­sen peo­ple, a roy­al priest­hood, a holy nation.

Hav­ing cleansed us in water, and sanc­ti­fied us with the Holy Spir­it, He gave Him­self as a ran­som to death, in which we were held cap­tive, sold under sin.

Descend­ing through the cross into She­ol — that He might fill all things with Him­self — He loosed the pangs of death. He arose on the third day, hav­ing made for all ?esh a path to the res­ur­rec­tion from the dead, since it was not pos­si­ble for the Author of Life to be a vic­tim of cor­rup­tion. So He became the first—fruits of those who have fall­en asleep, the first-born of the dead, that He might be Him­self tru­ly the first in all things … (Eucharis­tic Prayer of the Litur­gy of St. Basil)


Jesus, the Destroyer of Death

The third and final aspect of the sav­ing and redeem­ing action of Christ, there­fore, is the deep­est and most com­pre­hen­sive. It is the destruc­tion of death by Christ’s own death. It is the trans­for­ma­tion of death itself into an act of life. It is the recre­ation of She­ol — the spir­i­tu­al con­di­tion of being dead — into the par­adise of God. Thus, in and through the death of Jesus Christ, death is made to. die. In Him, who is the Res­ur­rec­tion and the Life, man can­not die, but lives for­ev­er with God.

Tru­ly, tru­ly I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in Him who sent me has eter­nal life; he does not come into judg­ment, but has passed from death into life. (John 5:24)

I am the Res­ur­rec­tion and the Life! He who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and who­ev­er lives and believes in me shall nev­er die.” (John 11:25–26)

It is Christ Jesus who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed inter­cedes for us! Who shall sep­a­rate us from the love of Christ? [ … ] For I am sure that nei­ther death, not life, nor angels, nor prin­ci­pal­i­ties, nor things present, nor things to come, not pow­ers, nor height, nor depth, nor any­thing else in all cre­ation will be able to sep­a­rate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:34–39)

For in Him the whole full­ness of divin­i­ty dwells bod­i­ly, and you have come to full­ness of life in Him … and you were buried with Him in bap­tism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the work­ing of God who raised Him from the dead. And you were dead in tres­pass­es … God made alive togeth­er with Him, hav­ing for­giv­en us all our tres­pass­es, hav­ing can­celled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this He set aside, nail­ing it to the cross. He dis­armed the (demon­ic) prin­ci­pal­i­ties and pow­ers and made a pub­lic exam­ple of them, tri­umph­ing over them … for you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (Colos­sians 2:9 ff.)

This is the doc­trine of the New Tes­ta­ment scrip­tures, repeat­ed over and again in many ways in the tra­di­tion of the Church: in its sacra­ments, hym­nol­o­gy, the­ol­o­gy, iconog­ra­phy. Christ’s vic­to­ry over death is man’s release from sins and man’s vic­to­ry over enslave­ment to the dev­il because in and through Christ’s death man dies and is born again to eter­nal life. In his death sins are no longer count­ed. In his death the dev­il no longer holds him. In his death he is born again to new­ness of life and is lib­er­at­ed from all that is evil, false, demon­ic and sin­ful. In a word, he is freed from all that is dead by dying and ris­ing again in and with Jesus.

But we see Jesus, who for a lit­tle while was made low­er than the angels, crowned with glo­ry and hon­or because of the suf­fer­ing of death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for every one. [ … ] Since there­fore the chil­dren share in ?esh and blood, He Him­self like­wise par­took of the same nature, that through death He might destroy him who has the pow­er of death, that is, the dev­il, and deliv­er all those who through fear of death were sub­ject to life­long bondage. (Hebrews 2:9–15)

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the ?rst-fruits of those who have fall­en asleep. For as by a man came death, by a Man has come also the res­ur­rec­tion of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. [ … ] The sting of death is sin, and the pow­er of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the vic­to­ry through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthi­ans 15:20 ff; 56–57)