O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? 1 Corinthians 15:55
Death is a weird thing. It doesn’t matter your age, economic status or ethnicity- you will die and so will I.
Adam and Eve really messed up when they sinned. It was at that moment that sin and death entered the world (Genesis 3).
After hearing about the passing of my grandpa on Monday, I started to think about death. Not necessarily the fear of death, but I started to worship in light of it.
As Jesus hung on a tree, bearing the wrath of God and punishment for our sins, all hope seemed lost. The Giver of life hung lifeless and was buried in a grave. Those who lovingly witnessed his crucifixion, likely felt Jesus had been defeated. The One who brought hope, now seemed to leave them hopeless.
But, God didn't leave us without hope or standing in defeat. Jesus took away the sting of death by conquering it. To those who are found in Christ, the sting of death no longer exists for you. Jesus defeated death and walked out of the grave victorious. Jesus' victory over death means that you and I have victory over death, too.
But then something else happened.
As I began to praise Jesus for life, another reality hit me. Not everyone will stand forgiven before the throne. The moment you draw your last breath is the moment you will be standing before God. Now, for believers, that isn’t a moment to be feared, but a moment for pure worship. But for those who don’t know Jesus, that moment will be very different. And I can’t help but be sobered by this reality.
There is nothing that you can do to appease God. Not a certain amount of money you can give or enough time you can spend in church. There is nothing that can pay your debt, except Jesus. Outside of Jesus, we are bound to the law- bound to sin. Since we are sinners who can't keep the law in it's entirety, we needed help.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Jesus paid the price and now we can stand faultless before the throne. Sin, death, brokenness, the law and evil no longer have power over us. Where the law required perfection, Jesus now asks for obedience. Where the law gave condemnation, Jesus gives grace. Where the law led to death, Jesus gave us life. Where the law required payment, Jesus paid our debt in full.
Friend, you don't have to take your last breath in fear; you can take your last breath in freedom. Death is real, but so is the victory found in Jesus.
by Emily LaGrone