1 Corinthians 15:55–57 (ESV) … “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 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.”
The great enemy of life is of course death. No one can escape its grip upon them. We cannot obtain enough powered, friends or wealth to defeat it. It comes to the door of the King and to the door of the servant. It comes to the door of the rich and to the poor. It comes to the door of the famous as well as the door of the low.
Death knows no bounds or boundaries. It comes to the young just as easily as it comes to the old. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychiatry, wrote: “And finally there is the painful riddle of death, for which no remedy at all has yet been found, nor probably ever will be.” Death is life’s greatest enemy.
That was until Christ came. While death still remains an enemy, death became a toothless enemy whose bite has lost its hurt. In Christ, we find that death is defeated and the promise that one day death itself will be destroyed. That death will be abolished and the cause of death, SIN, will be removed.
All these things and more we find in our focal passage of 1 Corinthians 15:55-57. Here the Holy Spirit through the pen of the great apostle Paul teaches us about the victory that we win over life’s greatest enemy, death. Paul teaches us how that victory is won, through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is through Christ and only through Christ that we can have victory over death.
What you may not know about our focal passage, was that many believe this was a hymn sung in the early church. Paul’s hymn of praise to the Lord is also an admonition to believers. As believers in Christ, we have an assurance of victory over death. Because of that victory, we know that nothing that we do for him will ever be wasted or lost. Because of that victory that Christ gives us, we can be steadfast in our service, unmovable in suffering, abounding in ministry and giving of ourselves in love for others. Christ makes life matter and death to be un-feared.
To live life without Christ is to sing the words of Solomon, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!” Why did Solomon use this word some 38 times in his writings in the book of Ecclesiastes? Because he is trying to live his life apart from God and found it wanting. His answer became “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” … apart from God! However, Paul sang a song of victory! Paul sings a song of triumph over the vanquished foe and Paul gives us the name of our Victor, Jesus Christ our Lord!