Wednesday, February 27, 2008

1 Corinthians 15:51-57

51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When 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?"56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Because I work in a large church, I probably go to a lot more funerals than most people do. Within the first two months of this year alone, I will have gone to funerals for a baby, a 27 year old, a 50 something old man who died of cancer, and a 90 year old man that I visited regularly. And I see the family and friends of these people grieving, deeply hurting. And I hurt too. The sting of death. I see it up close a lot, and it’s hard. Yet, this verse in 1 Corinthians gives so much hope and peace in the midst of the hurting. Christ died and rose! Death has been swallowed up in victory! Those who have faith in Christ will be in heaven and have eternal life. Christ was victorious over death, and those who believe in Him have this victory. This verse reminds us how even though we do experience the sting of death, even though it is natural to grieve, we can at the same time rejoice in the victory over death of Christ Jesus our Lord and all who believe.

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