Reflection on 1 Corinthians 15:56-57
“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.”
Death is all around us. On every side, in every place.
It does not discriminate nor wait for us to be ready for it.
Just when we might have thought we had avoided it for a time, it hits again those we love so dearly, and we are reminded of its power and its effects.
Death comes to us all. And it comes to us all because of sin. Because sin entered the world, death entered the world through sin. We do not need a magnifying glass to search out sin or its effects for they are all around – inside us, and outside us.
The law of God functions to highlight the extent of our sinfulness, as “sinful beyond measure.” (Romans 7:13).
We see for example the commandment of God to have no other God but Him – to worship and serve Him only – and we know that simply we all fail every day to do that.
His word says of humanity that “although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21).
This is our plight, the predicament we cannot overcome in our power. Our sin condemns us before the Holy God that we have all betrayed and turned away from.
But what does the text say? Does it finish there? No…
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Friends, for the follower of Jesus, as one person put it, “Christ invaded death’s domain and robbed it of its sting.” Jesus lived perfectly according the law of God, and Jesus took the curse of sin upon Himself and died to destroy its power.
If we trust in Jesus, we do not need to fear death – its sting has been taken away… Because Jesus bore its sting on the cross for us. A life of thanksgiving and praise to the God who so loved us that sent us His One and Only Son… is the only thing fitting for us…