Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
—1 Corinthians 15:55 (NIV)
We have heard about the vast numbers of deaths in our country and the world, and we have prayed for families we don’t know who have sustained loss. Until it became personal and hit home, the magnitude of its pain had not been as real. Now we know, and our prayer is for those we know and love. It hurts terribly to lose someone you love, but knowing you will see them again makes all the difference.
I hope you have the assurance you will see those you love again. If we are honest, we all have someone we love who, without Jesus in their life, will not be with us in heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the only way to the Father. He gave His life so that we could receive forgiveness for our sins and have the promise of eternal life with Him.
“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. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting’” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55, NIV)?
The love of Jesus gives victory over sin and death. When we know Jesus, there is no sting of sin that leads to death. We are saved by the innocent Lamb of God, who was slaughtered for our sins. With His own blood, Jesus wrote our freedom. He died on the Cross, and then rose to life again. When we die, what is written becomes true. Death won't have the last word. Our perishable bodies will die but not our souls. Mortal life shall be replaced with immortality. We will die to live again in heaven with God and those in Christ who have passed before us.
Doesn’t your heart ache for those you love? People dying in huge numbers have made everyone more aware of their mortality. Death around us has brought it even closer. But death for us is an open door to eternal life. We have that promise. Don't we long for our loved ones to have that promise, too? We can't force anyone to believe. But we can offer His love.
“When I am lifted from the earth,” Jesus said, “I will draw everyone to myself” (John 12:32, NLT). Jesus was lifted to the Cross; He was lifted from the grave; He was lifted to the Father. And the Holy Spirit draws hearts to Jesus. The soul of man lives on after physical death. Jesus gave His life so no one would have to suffer the agony of terrorizing pain for eternity but have the assurance of pain-free life with Him forever. All someone needs to do is believe that Jesus died for his sin and rose from the dead. By believing in his heart in Jesus, a man confesses his sin and is made right with God. By speaking what he believes, a man is saved (Romans 10:9-10).
Pray for those you know who need His love. Share His forgiveness. Speak His hope. Love with His grace. And ask if they would like to receive the promises of forgiveness and eternal life.
In Christ, there is no sting of death. There is no dread. There is only the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. Death doesn’t bring fear. It is the promise of life forever with Jesus, and with those you love who know Him.
© 2020 Lynn Lacher