Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament epistle of the apostle Paul which was written unto the saints which were at Colossae. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first seven verses of the third chapter. When the apostle Paul opens up and begins this passage of Scripture he does so using language that is absolutely tremendous when you take the time to consider it. This is particularly and especially true when you consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote in his first epistle to the saints which were at Corinth. If you turn and direct your attention to the fifteenth chapter of the first epistle which was written unto the saints at Corinth, you will find the apostle Paul essentially writing and speaking of two distinct resurrections. As this chapter opens up and begins we find the apostle Paul writing concerning the resurrection of Christ which the Spirit of Almighty God wrought on the third day after His lifeless body had been laid there after His crucifixion. Consider if you will the words and language which the apostle Paul writes unto the saints which were at Corinth concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day according to the Spirit of Almighty God: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: and that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, He was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with. Me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preached, and so ye believed” (1 Corinthians 15:1-11).
Within this particular set of verses the apostle Paul not only clearly sets forth that Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, but the apostle also sets out that He was buried. It is absolutely imperative that we make no mistake about it—Jesus Christ was crucified and He did in fact die, and His lifeless body was buried in a borrowed tomb for three days. Before we even speak of the resurrection which the Spirit of Almighty God wrought upon the physical body of Christ it is absolutely imperative that we settle within our hearts and spirits that Jesus did in fact die for our sins, and that as a direct result of His death He was buried in a borrowed tomb where His body lie for three days. Once we have established the fact that Jesus Christ had in fact died and was buried we can then turn our attention to and experience the freedom to believe that the Spirit of Almighty God raised Him up on the third day. As you read the words which the apostle Paul writes unto the Corinthians within this particular passage of Scripture you will find that on the third day after His lifeless body had lie buried in the tomb, Jesus the Christ rose again according to the Scriptures. What I absolutely love about the words which the apostle Paul wrote in this passage of Scripture is that not only did he reference the fact that Jesus the Christ died according to the Scriptures, but so also did He rise again according to the Scriptures. In both His death, as well as His resurrection Jesus fulfilled the expectation that was set forth within the Scripture. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Peter spoke unto all those in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost when many heard those in the upper room proclaiming and declaring the wonderful works of God in a language which wasn’t their own. Beginning with the twenty-second verse of the second chapter we read and find the following words spoken by the apostle Peter:
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning Him, 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 thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre 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 this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy ZGhost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens; but he saith of himself, The Lord saith unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:22-36).
With these words the apostle Peter clearly set forth the fact that Jesus who the Father hath made both Lord and Christ was delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God in order that He might be taken, and with wicked hands crucified within and upon the earth. The apostle Peter clearly set forth that it was the divine purpose and will of the Father to allow His only begotten Son to suffer at the hands of evil and wicked man, and to ultimately be crucified upon a cruel Roman tree outside the city of Jerusalem. What’s more, is that not only did the Father allow Jesus to suffer at the hands of wicked men in regard to His being beaten thirty-nine times, but the Father also allowed Him to be ridiculed, the Father allowed Him to be spit upon, and the Father allowed Him to be slapped across the face. What’s more, is that the Father allowed Jesus to carry His own cross along the Via Dolorosa to the very place where His physical body would be laid outstretched upon a brutal instrument of torture and death—the cross—and His hands and feet to be nailed to the cross. The Father allowed a crown of thorns to be placed upon His head, and the thorns to pierce His brow and skull. It would have been one thing for the Father to allow Jesus to be nailed to the cross outside Jerusalem, and allowed Him to remain upon that cross for a short period of time, and then to send a legion of angels to come and rescue Him from the cross. The Father could have very easily allowed His own Son to suffer everything leading up to the cross, and even the cross itself, and then at the third hour rescued Him from the cross. The truth of the matter is that the Father would not and could not merely allowed Jesus to hang there upon the cross, and then to rescue Him from the suffering and ridicule of the cross. The Father could have very easily rescued Jesus from the cross before He gave up the ghost and committed His spirit into His hands, and yet not only did the Father not rescue Him, but the Father deliberately and intentionally allowed Him to die upon that cross. I have to admit that there is something absolutely incredible and powerful about this very reality—the reality that the Father would choose not to resume His Son from the cross upon which He hung naked, bleeding, bruised, battered, scorned and ridiculed.
I am utterly and completely convinced that there is a powerful prophetic truth and reality that is contained in the reality that the Father did not—and ultimately could not and would not rescue Jesus from the scorn, the shame and the suffering of the cross upon which He had been nailed and hung. The Father deliberately and intentionally allowed Jesus to hang there upon that cross naked and bleeding as the Roman soldiers scorned and ridiculed Him, and even as the thief to His one side heaped further insult and mockery upon Him. I am convinced that there is something absolutely prophetic that is found and contained within this particular reality. In order to fully and completely understand that which I believe the Spirit is speaking unto us it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we turn our attention to words which Jesus spoke prior to His crucifixion upon the cross outside of Jerusalem. IN the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew—just before Jesus took Peter, James, and John and brought them up into an high mountain apart where He was transfigured—Jesus makes a powerful and emphatic declaration unto His disciples: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save His life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to His works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom” (Matthew 16:24-28). With these words Jesus emphatically and boldly proclaims and declares unto His disciples that if any man wishes and would seek to come after Him, they must deny themselves, they must take up their cross, and they must follow Him. In other words, directly connected to and associated with coming after Jesus is this deliberate and intentional self-denial, as well as a taking up of our own cross which we have been called to bear.
If you study the life and ministry of Jesus who is both Christ and Lord, you will find that not only did Jesus have to carry His own cross along the Via Dolorosa to the place where He would ultimately be crucified, but He would also be nailed to that cross and hung there until His physical body could not take it anymore and He would ultimately die. What’s more, is that if you read the account of Jesus’ passion—that account within His life when He was forced to carry His own cross—you will find that although He carried His own cross, there came a point when His physical body could not handle the weight, the burden and the load of carrying that cross. There came a point along the journey where Jesus’ physical body could no longer handle the weight of the cross, and He would need the assistance of help from someone else. Consider if you will the words which Matthew records in the twenty-seventh chapter of the gospel account of Jesus’ life and ministry: “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto Him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped Him, and put on Him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King off the Jews! And they spit upon Him, and took the reed, and smote Him on the head. And after that they had mocked Him, they took the robe off from Him, and put His own raiment on Him, and led Him away to crucified Him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross” (Matthew 27:27-32). IN the twenty-third chapter of the gospel according to the beloved physician Luke we find the following words concerning this same account: “And as they led Him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that He might bear it after Jesus. And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him” (Luke 23:26-27). IN the gospel according to Mark we find the following words describing this same occurrence and event: “And they had mocked Him, they took off the purple from Him, and put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear His cross” (Mark 15:20-21).
Now, here is where the prophetic word comes into play, for I am convinced there is something we must understand when it comes to the death and crucifixion of Jesus. What we must understand when it comes to Jesus is that He would never ask us, nor would He ever compel us to do anything that He Himself wasn’t willing to. If Jesus boldly and emphatically called His disciples and all those who wished to follow after Him to deny themselves and take up their crosses, He would have done so knowing that He full well would be the first to lead them along that path. It was true that Jesus declared that those who wished to come after Him must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him, and it is also true that Jesus would be the first to carry His cross—not in order that we would not have to, but in order that He might show us how. As certainly as Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection from the dead, so also is He the firstfruits of the cross bearers as well. Jesus didn’t carry the cross along the Via Dolorosa in order that we wouldn’t have to, but in order that He might show us how to. What’s more, is that when it comes to carrying and bearing our cross—if even Jesus Himself could not carry or bear His cross alone in His own strength, but would need the assistance of another to help Him carry His cross, what make us think that we can carry the crosses we have been called to carry alone and in our own strength? I am wonderfully and powerfully convinced that while it is true that if we with to come after Jesus we must deny ourselves and take up our cross, Jesus knows that this is not something that we can do in and of ourselves and in our own strength. Jesus knew when He made that statement, and He would later know from personal experience that carrying and bearing the cross we have been called to carry will require another, or perhaps even others to come alongside us and help us carry that cross. We dare not, we cannot, we must not, we should not believe the lie that we can carry the cross we have been called to carry alone in and of our strength, and without the strength and help of another. In all reality, I am convinced that we are not only the company of cross bearers, but we are also the company of those who help each other carry the crosses we have been called to bear.
Building upon this same theme of a prophetic word I believe the Spirit of Christ is speaking unto us in these Last Days, I feel it absolutely necessary and imperative to once more emphatically declare that the Father could have very easily rescued Jesus from the cross, and could have sent ten legions of angels to bring Him down from upon that cross. In fact, I would dare say that there might be some among us who would have enjoyed reading of such an occurrence within the life of Jesus—reading how the Father rescued Jesus from the death of the cross, while allowing Him to experience the suffering of the cross. If the Father rescued Jesus from the death of the cross then it would also hold true that the Father could rescue us from the death which the cross we have been called to carry and bear within and throughout our lives. If I am being honest with you who are reading this, and if we are being honest with the Father who is in heaven, we would not only want and desire the Father to rescue us from the death of the cross, but we would also desire that He rescue us from the suffering of the cross. In other words, we might very well expect the Father to not even allow us to have to carry the cross which we have been called to bear. Remember Jesus’ prayer in the garden when He spoke unto the Father concerning this cup passing from Him, and yet His unshakeable resolve that it would not be His will which would be done, but it would be the father’s will that would be done. When Jesus rose from His place of prayer in the garden of Gethsemane that night, He knew one thing was absolutely certain—this cup would surely not pass from Him, and He would experience death upon the cross atop Gologath outside Jerusalem. What’s more, is that as I consider this reality even further, I find it incredibly intriguing that the Father would rescue Jesus from the grave, but only after He had first entered into the grave, and after His lifeless body had lie there for three days. The Father would rescue His Son from the grave, and the Father would raise Him from death to life, but Jesus would first need to experience both the suffering of the cross, as well as the death of the cross. What’s more, is that Jesus’ lifeless body needed to be buried in that borrowed tomb for three days in order that His soul and spirit might accomplish a work which could not be performed in the natural and physical realm. I am firmly convinced that there is a public work of the cross which is performed in the earth, but there is also a private work of the grave which is invisible and unseen to the natural and naked eye. Even the apostle Peter Himself—when speaking of Jesus’ death and burial in the tomb and grave—declared of Jesus that the Father would not leave His soul in hell, nor His body to suffer and experience corruption. The Father would in fact come to the rescue of Jesus—both in hell, as well as in the grave—but Jesus first needed to experience the suffering and death of the cross.
Transitioning back to the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the fifteenth chapter of his first epistle to the Corinthian saints we not only encounter the words of the apostle concerning the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, but also our own resurrection which we we shall experience. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul wrote beginning with the twelfth verse of the fifteenth chapter of this particular epistle: “Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in His own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith, all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:12-34).
When reading the writings of the apostle Paul it is imperative that we recognize that the resurrection which Jesus who is both Christ and Lord experienced is but the firstfruits of the resurrection which we who are in Christ have been called to experience. With that being said, it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that even though Christ’s resurrection is the firstfruits of our own resurrection, our resurrection is essentially two-fold. It is true that within this particular chapter within the epistle written unto the Corinthians that there is in fact a resurrection of the dead which will take place at the last trump when the dead in Christ shall rise first, and then all those which are alive and remain within and upon the earth will be caught up together with them. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the first epistle he wrote unto the saints which were at Thessalonica: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Within the fifteenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthian saints, as well as the fourth chapter of the first epistle to the Thessalonian saints we find the apostle Paul writing and speaking of a resurrection which will take place when the last trump sounds—when that which is corruptible will put on that which is incorruptible, and that which is mortal will put on that which is immortal. I remember writing previously concerning changing while waiting to change, and resurrecting while waiting to resurrecting, and while it is true that there will in fact be a resurrection from the dead which can and will take place when the last trump shall sound, there is a resurrection which can and should be experienced in the here and the now. It would be so incredibly easy to get caught up in the reality of the resurrection from the dead which can and will take place when the last trump shall sound, but we have been called to a resurrection in the here and now. We dare not, we cannot, we should not wait for the resurrection which will occur at the last trump only, while simultaneously neglecting and even ignoring the resurrection which is available to us now.
When the third chapter of the epistle written unto the Colossian saints opens up, it opens up with the words “if ye then be risen with Christ, “ thus suggesting and speaking of a resurrection that is completely different than that which we shall experience when the last trump sounds. I absolutely love what we find and read in the twenty-seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew, for within this chapter we not only read of graves opening at the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross, but we also find the saints rising from those graves when Jesus Himself rose from the grave. Consider if you will the words which we find and read in the twenty-seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew: “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Matthew 27:51-53). I absolutely love what we find and read within this passage of Scripture for during those forty days after Jesus was Himself rose from the grave, there was a powerful testimony of resurrection and a tremendous company of resurrected ones who were walking upon the earth. Consider if you will that not only had Lazarus himself been raised from death to life after being dead and buried in the tomb for four days, but now Jesus who is both Christ and Lord was raised from death to life, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of their graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city. For a period of forty days there was a powerful company of the resurrected ones which were present on the earth thus signifying and speaking to the reality of a resurrection which can and should be experienced in the here and the now. The fact that after Jesus ascended unto the right hand of the Father in heaven there still remained a company of resurrected ones suggests and speaks to the powerful reality that there is a resurrection which can and should be experienced in the here and the now. This company of resurrected ones which walked upon the earth after Jesus’ own resurrections reveals and speaks to the reality that we have been called to more than just a resurrection at the last trump when we shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye. There is a resurrection that is available to us in the here and the now, and the apostle Paul wrote about this resurrection when he spoke of us being risen with Christ. We must recognize that not only did Christ’s resurrection make possible our resurrection at the last trump, but Christ’s resurrection also made possible a spiritual resurrection which can be experienced in the here and the now.
When writing to the Colossian saints the apostle Paul declared that since we have been risen with Christ, we are to seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Since we have been risen with Christ, we are to set our affection on this above, and not on the things of the earth. What I so love about the words which the apostle Paul writes unto the saints which were at Colossae is that he speaks of our being risen with Christ as the basis for an entirely new focus and way of thinking. Since we have been risen with Christ we are to seek those things which are above—those things where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. What’s more, is that since we have been risen with Christ we are to set our affection on things which are above, and not on the things on the earth. It is only when we have been risen with Christ—it is only when we walk in and experience the resurrection while waiting to be resurrected—that we can truly experience the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Rome: “and be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). It is only when we have experienced and continue to walk in this resurrection while waiting to be resurrected that we can experience that which the apostle Paul writes to the saints which were at Philippi: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:7-9). It is only when we walk in the reality of our being risen with Christ that we can truly “cast all our cares upon Him” knowing that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). It is only when we are and have truly been risen with Christ that we can “be careful [or anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). I am convinced that the only we can experience transformation through the renewing of our minds is if we have truly been risen with Christ, and the only way we can truly be risen with Christ is if we have died with Him, and have been buried with Him. We should not expect the Father to rescue us from the suffering and death of the cross, but we should experience the Spirit raising us from death to life according to the same power which raised Christ from the dead.
I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the sixth chapter of the epistle which he wrote unto the saints which were at Rome: “Know the not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For He that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Romans 6:3-12). I am also reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the eighth chapter of the same epistle concerning the Spirit and power which raised Jesus from death to life: “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ form the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:8-11). Through the writings of the apostle Paul we not only discover that he believed that Christ’s resurrection was the firstfruits of a resurrection that would take place when the last trump shall sound, but the apostle also believed that Christ’s resurrection was the firstfruits of a resurrection which should be experienced in the here and the now. What’s more, is that the apostle Paul believed and wrote that if the Spirit of Him which raised up Jesus from the dead dwells inside us, He who raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken us by His Spirit which dwells inside of us. It is absolutely essential that we change while waiting to be change, we resurrect while waiting to be resurrected, and we transform while waiting to be transformed. If we have died with Christ our lives our hid with Christ in God. Just as Christ was hidden in the womb of Mary for nine months, and just as Christ was hidden in Egypt from the murderous threats of Herod, and just as Christ was concealed in Nazareth for thirty years before His public manifestation and appearing, and just as Christ was hidden in the grave for three days until He could be raised from death to life, so also are we hidden with Christ in God.