1 Corinthians 15:56-57 says, "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Certainly, death does sting. It hurts to lose someone you love. But it's interesting that this verse doesn't say that death is the sting, but sin. Physical death is a time of hope for those who are believers in Jesus. We talk about "losing our loved one", but really, when we die in Christ, we have not lost them. We know where they are...we just have lost their physical presence for a time. Philipians 1:21 says, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Don't get me wrong, I don't want to diminish how difficult it when someone we love passes away, even if we know we'll see them again. But the sting is gone. Why? Because sin has been dealt with. We've been forgiven. The thing that separates us from a loving God are gone. The Law, or just trying to do it ourselves, couldn't do it. "He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).
I recently heard a nice song, talking about our spirit going home. It was well done and brought a tear to many an eye. But it wasn't centred around the hope of Jesus. It's Jesus that will take us home. John 14:2 says, "My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?"
"It is quite another matter where sin has not been dealt with" (Tyndale Commentary). Some people are ashamed of their past. Ashamed of their sin. They don't want to come to church because they think we'll focus on what they've done wrong. I love what pastor Chris Hodges from Church of the Highlands in Alabama said, "God doesn't want to talk about your past, He wants to settle your past." Isn't that awesome. Certainly, sometimes there's stuff in our past we have to deal with, but from an eternal perspective, God wants to settle it. Help us move on. Give us a hope and a future. I'm thankful we serve a merciful God, and I'm not the judge of a person at the end of their life. God is. But I'm even more thankful that the sting can be taken away, today.
So are you afraid of being stung? Let Jesus take the stinger out :)
I welcome your comments.