“ ‘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, NIV).
I remember an incident in college that, in my mind, reinforced an important truth. Parked in the driveway in front of the house of my future in-laws, my soon-to-be wife, Sarah and I noticed that a wasp had flown into my car. While I’d like to say that I acted in a brave and chivalrous manner and extracted the pesky wasp from the car, I must confess that I was pretty content to let it buzz around, trapped in the rear window. Luckily for me, my future father-in-law rushed to action and, armed with only a cloth gardening glove, crushed the wasp and removed it from my car. I was a little embarrassed that he was the greater man that day, but was also quite relieved that I hadn’t faced the prospect of being stung.
The Apostle Paul spoke of the “…sting of death…” (1 Corinthians 15:56, NIV) and the victory we have through Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:57). I’ve seen first-hand the hurt that death brings to families and friends of loved ones who have passed-on. Still, our hope and assurance as Christians is that God has dealt directly with the pain that comes from sin. Jesus was loving and man enough to step in and take the real sting of death in his body as he died on a Roman cross, and, while death still hurts, its consequences have been crushed. “…thanks be to God!” (1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV).