By Pastor David Holland
Hell stunk of sulfur that day. The essence of rotting eggs wafted through the dark air of Hades as demons and all manner of horrific creatures poked and prodded the new arrival. Fresh meat to taunt gave them a sick pleasure. Laughing and kicking the corpse until he woke up, the evil minions asked each other, “Who is he anyway?”
Lucifer laughed manically, “Jesus, they called Him ‘King of the Jews’ and now He’s mine, all mine.” Eruptions of hisses and boos cascaded through the smokey caverns of hell. “This miserable, bleeding human was supposed to ‘save people from their sin,’” he mocked. All the inhabitants of Hades reveled in their master’s contempt. Then the corpse moved.
Bloodied and beaten, Jesus rose and preached to the captives, “Turn in faith to God.”
“Oh, you silly so-called Messiah, don’t you know they’re mine now for eternity?”
Ignoring the ancient liar, Jesus proclaimed, “I am the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world. All who believe in me shall be saved.”
“Yet, here you are,” Satan smirked.
“Turn from your ways and follow me,” Christ implored the captives.
A condemned human called out, “Follow you? Where are you going? You are here with us in the dungeon of the dead. Why should we listen to you?”
“Behold my bleeding hands; put your hand in my pierced side. I died as a sacrifice for you and all humanity. Put your faith in me and I will deliver you from this place.”
At that moment, a breeze unlike any other swept through that stifling place. Even the demons smelled it, “What was that? The imp cried?”
A fallen angel sneered, “Shush foolish goblin, that is the Breath of Heaven.”
The Savior’s voice grew stronger as He rose, imploring the masses, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Look to Me and be healed of your wounds. Come and I will deliver you from the torment of hate, doubt and fear.”
The Spirit-Wind swirled with growing intensity and the Christ began to rise above the stench of death and the grave. “Believe in Me,” He called out, “and this day you shall be with me in Paradise.” And faith rose in the hearts of the captives of sin, death and the grave.
“No!” Satan roared. “They’re mine. Their own guilt condemns these stupid, wretched humans.”
Wrestling the keys of Hell from Satan, Jesus declared, “I redeemed them by paying with my life. We rise to go back to the Father and place my blood on the Mercy Seat.”
Christ arose by the power of the Holy Spirit leading captivity captive. Multitudes followed Him and His ragtag band ascended beyond the gates of Hell and through the portals of heaven.
Multitudes of angelic creatures wondered at the spectacle parading into the Holy Place. They recognized the Son of the Highest, bloodied but unbroken. Seraphim gasped. “What manner of creatures are these with Him, still wreaking of sulfur and stained with guilt?”
The Ancient of Days stood from His throne and heaven hushed as the Lamb approached the brazen altar. Wiping His bloody hands there, the Christ moved past it to the Mercy seat. The Lamb of God lay there with His pierced side still bleeding.
“Boom!” The scepter of the Great God pounded the golden floor of heaven.
“Innocent!” He shouted for all creation to hear. “The sinless blood of My Son paid the price for all who believe. He redeemed humanity from every kindred, tongue and tribe forever.
All heaven stood on tiptoe shouting, “Jesus has risen. Christ has risen indeed.”
Celebrate Easter in the Word of God with Dave Holland and his daily devotional, “Extraordinary Jesus.” He recently released this devotional-Bible study based on the Gospel of Luke. You can get a copy from his website, DaveHolland.org, or at Amazon.com. Pastor Dave is available to preach and teach at churches and conferences. Contact him at DavidvHolland54@gmail.com.