“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? ””
1 Corinthians 15:55 NLT
Without the benefit of Christian belief, and as far as our small minds can comprehend, death is the thing to be feared above all things. It is the ultimate end for mere mortal beings. The end of existence, the end of earthly life, the end of all that is for any one person.
And yet Paul belittles it so, here in this short but lyrical verse.
Because the word “sting” is usually used to describe a minor annoyance. Sharp, but bearable. Painful, yes, but surely something that can be survived. You could get stung by a bee, or by a mosquito. You could get stung by a cactus, or by the tiny needles on some nettles. But you would not die from any of these (allergies excluded, but that’s stretching the analogy).
And yet Paul uses it here in relation with the idea of DEATH itself. He implies that such a terrible, absolute concept could have the effect of nothing more than just a sting, a slap and a flick away from being banished from our lives.
He shows us that this is the way that we should be viewing it — in light of the power of God, and His promise of eternal life, death, and all its associated fears and threats, could be nothing more than just a memory.
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