Psalm 148-150 1 Corinthians 15:29-58
“’Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your pain?’ Death’s power to hurt is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NCV)
The Corinthians seemed to get worried about things they didn’t have control over. They got into a discussion with Paul about what they’d look like in heaven. Maybe some of them had issues with their bodies and they couldn’t imagine themselves living for all eternity with the damage the Romans had done to their bodies. Paul, without describing our heavenly bodies, used the analogy of a seed sprouting to talk about what we’ll be. Who we’ll be in heaven will be so much greater than who we are now. Then, in one of the greatest displays of trash talk ever, Paul laid it down on death. Death has nothing on the follower of Christ. Death’s worst weapon is sin, and that was forgiven at the cross. Jesus conquered death and because we are in Him, we have victory over death as well.
Paul wanted the Corinthians to recognize the big picture: we win. We don’t win because of our own efforts, though. We win because Jesus conquered death. We’re on the winning team because Jesus destroyed death on death’s home field. Let’s face it – aside from Enoch and Elijah who left the game early, up until the time Jesus conquered death, death was undefeated. Then came the cross and death danced in delight, not realizing the game had gone into overtime. By the time Jesus was finished, the gates of hell had been destroyed and death was a shadow of his former self. Oh, some people still give death power. There are two types of people who do that: the first group are those who reject Christ entirely. They must fight death on their own, and they don’t have the power to defeat him. The second group are those who would claim to follow Jesus but would follow the law themselves and force others to follow the law. When you make the law your guide, the inevitable failures sting. Even though death’s been defeated, death enjoys those small victories. When we live by the grace of Jesus Christ, we live in His mercy and forgiveness and can overcome the power of death because He did.
Lord, thank You for conquering death. Thank You that because the power of death has been destroyed, I can live in the power of Your life. Let me share Your overcoming power with others.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.