“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
Perhaps you have seen the bumper sticker that reads simply KNOW CHRIST – KNOW PEACE … NO CHRIST – NO PEACE. There are far too many people who fear death. On that subject they have no peace. Perhaps it is fear of the unknown, of what to expect when they pass from this earth. Perhaps it is because they have just enough understanding of scripture to know that bad things await those who have not made peace with God prior to the last day. Forgiveness, peace, fulfillment and hope for tomorrow lie in knowing Christ. Not a peripheral or a one sided relationship, but rather a close, personal one. It comes from submitting your will to the will of God. Once you surrender to the Lord your wants and desires, you begin to hunger for more of Him. You are cheating yourself if you fight that hunger. Get to know God for who He truly is, what He has done and what He promises to do for any ardent believer. Just believing is not enough. Submersion is necessary. You must submerge to emerge into a new life in Christ.
Why is knowing Christ important? When Christ rose from the dead by the will of God, He took the venom out of the sting of death. Once the sting is removed there is no longer anything to fear. Without Christ’s death there is no redemption for man. He is irreversibly stuck in his own sin and must pay the penalty on his own. That is something to fear. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can have victory over sin and death by accepting Christ’s death as payment for all our misdeeds and living in the freedom He provides. We avoid the second death by receiving all the benefits of the second birth. We are free of our sin, not to sin again but to live according to the prescribed plan God has for us. He knows what is best for us all and will reveal His plan for our life if we ask Him to.
To live for Christ is to live a life of victory. Take your focus off your problems and place them squarely on Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
NOTE: The Apostle Paul paraphrases verses from Isaiah and Hosea in the Old Testament to cement his argument about the finality of death’s destruction at Christ’s resurrection.
Isaiah 25:8 (NIV)
“… he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.”
Hosea 13:14 (NIV)
“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?”