For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
— 1 Peter 3:18 NIV
I will confess that this is one of the most challenging and difficult passages in all the Bible for me when I look at the whole context. What I take out of this, however, is that while Jesus' body died, his spirit — or better yet, his spirit and the Holy Spirit within him — never died. Jesus faced the forces of hell on hell's home turf and came back victorious from this spiritual battle (Ephesians 4:7-9; Acts 2:24; Romans 6:9). Jesus was raised up to a new bodily existence, having conquered death and giving us a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). The significance of his resurrection is incredible. He is the first fruits of those to be raised from the dead, ensuring that we will be raised, too (1 Corinthians 15:20-23; Romans 6:4-5). The power that raised Jesus from the dead, the Holy Spirit, is at work in us now (Ephesians 1:17-20). The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will give life to our mortal bodies (Romans 8:10-11). As the old song says, "Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior; he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!"
O Father, words cannot adequately proclaim the joy and confidence I have about my future because of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. Lord Jesus, as you intercede for me in this prayer, please know my deepest appreciation for your sacrifice and your conquest of hell through your death and resurrection. Father, please strengthen me and empower me to live for you. I pray this in the name of Jesus, my Lord. Amen.
About This Devotional
God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.