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Divinity of Christ, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
41- Christ's Authority over Life and Death
With Respect to His Authority over Life and Death
(1) We have talked previously about the Divinity of Christ with respect to Him being the Giver of life. The Lord talked about His relation with life, saying: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die" (Jn. 11:25,26). He also said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (Jn. 14:6). Who among men can say: "I am the life, the resurrection, and the truth"?
(2) Regarding the Lord's authority over death, the Apostle says that our Savior Jesus Christ "has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light" (2 Tim. 1:10).
The Lord Himself testifies to His authority over death in the Book of Revelation, saying: "I have the keys of Hades and of death" (Rev. 1: 18), and: "If anyone keeps My word he shall never see death" (Jn. 8:51).
(3) Who is the One who has authority over life and death, but God alone? For all human beings were under the penalty of death, as the Apostle said: "Sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned" (Rom. 5:12), and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. The Lord Jesus Christ, however, is the One who abolished death.
(4) Authority over life and death is in the hand of God alone, who said in the Book of Deuteronomy: "I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me, I kill and I make alive" (Deut. 32:39). And it was said of Him in the First Book of Samuel the Prophet: "The Lord kills and makes alive, He brings down to the grave and brings up" (1 Sam. 2:6). If this authority over life and death is in the hand of Christ, as He said: "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will" (Jn. 5:21), then Christ is God.
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