1 Corinthians 15:55
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
Everyday of our lives we encounter crossroads where oftentimes we must make tough decisions. However, when left to ourselves, we’d rather choose the easy, comfortable and broad path. We’d rather compromise instead of commit to God’s instructions. Why do we do this? … Because we think to ourselves – it feels good, everyone is doing it, no one is watching, a little taste won’t hurt. Little by little, as we walk down the broad path, the sin creeps in and consumes us completely.
What is so beautiful about God’s Word is that indeed, like a mirror, it is able to reflect who we really are. Although a mirror is only able to reflect that which is on the outside at face value, the Scriptures are able to reveal the true condition of our hearts.
There are times when we look at ourselves in the mirror, we do not like what we see; as a result, we experience frustration, disappointment, or sadness. In the same way, when we read Scriptures and we receive a glimpse of our tendencies and inclinations as fallen human beings, we are frustrated, disappointed, perhaps saddened at our own reflections.
For example, Psalms 51:5 reminds us that we were sinners since birth. In Genesis 21 the Scriptures tells us that every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood.
We are reminded of the consequences of sin in Romans 6:23 –
For the wages of sin is death …
From this we must remember that sin does not necessarily lead to a physical death. Rather, what Paul is referring to here is that of a spiritual death. At its core, sin is rebellion against God, however “big” or “small” we think it may be. Whenever we sin, it separates us from God; thus, we feel empty, guilty, confused and disconnected from Him. Every time we make a decision to sin, to compromise, to walk down the broad path, which leads to destruction rather than the narrow path, which leads to life, we place a barrier between God and ourselves.
However, Jesus Christ came down to this Earth, the Word becoming flesh, to walk amongst men and to offer Himself as the ultimate sacrifice that would reconcile man to God.
Let’s read 1 Corinthians 15:54-56 —
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ who was without sin was crucified and conquered death so that we might be victorious and live through Him. Death is no longer the end for we have been gifted with eternal life – when the perishable will be clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality.
We read in the first part of Romans 6:23 of the wages of sin. However, as we continue reading the rest of the verse:
…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Eternal life is a gift of God! This perfect and unconditional love that has driven away our fears of sin and death now empowers us to live our lives through Christ – not because of anything we have done or are doing but because of what HE HAS DONE.
Realizing that he would soon be gone from this world, Dwight L. Moody once said to a friend, “Someday you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody is dead. Don’t you believe it. At that moment, I will be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal, a body that sin cannot touch, that sin cannot taint. I was born in the flesh in 1837. I was born of the Spirit in 1856. That which is born of flesh may die; that which is born of the Spirit will live forever.”
This is our great hope! John 11:25 says that “He who believes in me, even though he dies, will live.”Jesus Christ has conquered the grave. The tomb is empty and He has risen that we might dwell in His house all the days of our lives.