1 Corinthians 15:54-56 “‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ 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.”
Why should youth turn to age? Why should strength fade to weakness? Why should life give way to death? A research scientist I once knew said that human science still cannot explain why cells, that once repaired and replaced themselves so efficiently as our bodies grew and we matured, lose their ability to keep us at the top of our powers as the years pass.
But Paul knew. “The sting of death is sin.” Sin is the poison that infects us and brings us bitter death. Sin is the sting, even if it doesn’t look the part. It camouflages itself as pleasure. But like the shiny red apple the witch-queen brings to Snow White in the fairytale, the pleasure is only an illusion. Death is the reality, a reality that overtakes us all.
Sin itself gets its power from the law. Where there is no command, no law, there is nothing to break, no sin to commit. But wherever God reveals his law, sin sees its opportunity. We break the command, God imposes the penalty, and we die…
Until God himself gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s what Jesus’ resurrection is all about, isn’t it? It is the proof of Christ’s victory. His body drew all the venom, all the poison of every sin committed by every sinner into itself. He died a thousand deaths, a million deaths, billions and billions of deaths, when he died the deaths of all humanity for the sins of all humanity at the cross. All the venom, all the poison was spent on him until sin and death themselves were spent, at the very end of their power, and he died.
But then he takes his life back again. Sin and death have nothing left to stop him. He is the victor! Isn’t that why we crown him the King of Kings and Lord of all? And then, incredibly, the Lord of all, the Easter victor that we worship, turns around and hands his victory to his people. He promises the same life from the dead to every one of us. See your life in the light of his resurrection, and you can see the victorious life that is coming after death.