“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
When humanity goes up against its final enemy, its greatest opponent, will we enjoy a rousing victory over death? Will any human beat the odds and live forever? Or do we see before us only a stinging defeat?
Death’s sting is eternal separation from God’s peace and presence! The power and poison in the stinger is the law. God’s law is like a mirror that shows us how far we are from being god-like, and how fully we fail to live as he commands. The law stings when it tells us to be holy, to be perfect as God is. On our own, we fall far short of God’s holy requirement! And therefore, we deserve to die, die eternally.
But the apostle Paul “trash talks” death. How can he do that? The answer is EASTER! In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, the resurrection chapter, Paul proclaims Jesus’ victory over death by our Lord’s glorious resurrection and the impact his resurrection has on us.
God the Father removed the stinger from death. He sent his Son, the Lamb of God, to take away the sin of the world. By Jesus’ death for us, God rescued us from eternal death. Trusting in Jesus, the grave is not a hopeless end. Just as Jesus rose from the dead and now lives gloriously in heaven, so he will raise us from the grave to live forever in glory with him. Through Jesus, death does not defeat us; it has no victory over us.
Jesus is our king who won the victory over death. We can echo Paul’s victory cry, “Where, O death, is your sting? Where, O death, is your victory?” By faith in Jesus, his resurrection is our victory over eternal death and the grave. We will rejoice to see our Lord return at the last day. And as our glorious and perfect king, he will take us to live in his heavenly kingdom.
Gracious Father in heaven, I thank you for allowing me to share in the victory of my Lord Jesus Christ, your dear Son. Empower me by your Spirit to live in the victorious celebration of life everlasting from now to eternity. Amen.