Wednesday, May 8, 2013

O death, where is thy sting?

Frost crystals


Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?
Shall I redeem them from Death?
O Death, where are your plagues?
O Sheol, where is your sting?
Compassion is hidden from my eyes.

–– Hosea 13:14

He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.
–– Isaiah 25:8

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
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In both of the Old Testament scriptures we see that God is a mighty God.  He will not only give His people military victory over their enemies, but He would give them victory over sorrow and ultimately even death. God would swallow up death. In the poetic words of the Bible, death was often pictured as an insatiable monster that swallowed his victims. the pagan religions at that time believed death was a god. In the Baal myth of Ugarit, death swallowed up the god Baal. In Canaanite  mythology the god of death was Mot.  One could not approach Mot because he would put you in his mouth as a lamb.  The true God, Yahweh, was all powerful and eternal. He would swallow up all the false gods.  Yahweh would swallow up death its self.  The sting of death will be vanquished by God.

 The two Old Testament scriptures spoke of the end of death, but that was not realized until the redemptive death and resurrection of Christ. These New Testament inspired words of Paul tell us of the promise accomplished only by Jesus. He took our sins upon Himself and His children will no longer need to fear death. The sting of death has been been removed. The law could only point out one's sin. Sin is the cause of death. Through the redemptive work of Christ our sins are forgiven. Through Christ we were given victory over the sting of death. Paul tells us that we are assured of this victory over death.  All true believers will be given His divine power over death.

All true Christian's can be assured of the ultimate defeat of death and sin.  This has been guaranteed for His followers by the death of Christ and His resurrection from the grave.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

–––––––

A boy and his father were traveling in a car when a bee flew through the open window. The boy was so highly allergic to bee stings that both he and his father knew that his life was in danger. As the boy frantically jumped around and tried to avoid the agitated bee, the father calmly reached out and grabbed the bee. When he opened his hand, the bee began to fly again, terrorizing the boy once more. The father then said, “Look, son,” holding up a hand with an implanted stinger, “his stinger is gone; he can’t hurt you any longer.”


As a bee loses its stinger when it stings, so death lost its sting when it stung Jesus.

____________


Death is the supreme festival on the road to freedom.     ––  Dietrich Bonhoeffer



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