1 Corinthians 15:50-58
50 Brothers and sisters, here is what I’m telling you. Bodies made of flesh and blood can’t share in the kingdom of God. And what dies can’t share in what never dies. 51 Listen! I am telling you a mystery. We will not all die. But we will all be changed. 52 That will happen in a flash, as quickly as you can wink an eye. It will happen at the blast of the last trumpet. Then the dead will be raised to live forever. And we will be changed. 53 Our natural bodies don’t last forever. They must be dressed with what does last forever. What dies must be dressed with what does not die. 54 In fact, that is going to happen. What does not last will be dressed with what lasts forever. What dies will be dressed with what does not die. Then what is written will come true. It says, “Death has been swallowed up. It has lost the battle.” (Isaiah 25:8) 55 “Death, where is the victory you thought you had? Death, where is your sting?” (Hosea 13:14) 56 The sting of death is sin. And the power of sin is the law. 57 But let us give thanks to God! He gives us the victory because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done. 58 My dear brothers and sisters, remain strong in the faith. Don’t let anything move you. Always give yourselves completely to the work of the Lord. Because you belong to the Lord, you know that your work is not worthless.
Reading this passage, I am reminded of simple truths from the Bible that our human nature allows us to so easily forget or misconstrue. Here we are told that death has no power over us, it has no sting! Indeed, death only retains any sting because of sin, and sin only retains power because of the law.
However, we have “victory because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done.” Jesus has defeated death and sin, and fulfilled the law so that we don’t have to. This scripture is such a good reminder, because it is sometimes easy to almost bypass this and try to take our salvation into our own hands. As believers, we have no reason to worry about whether our actions are good enough to make us acceptable to God – they aren’t. We come to God through the sacrifice of Jesus. These are simple biblical truths yet sometimes we confuse and stumble over them.
Our “work for the Lord” is not to appease Him or to make ourselves appear righteous in His sight – Jesus has already done that! Rather, it is an outworking of our faith in and love for Him.
Jesus, may I always be filled with gratitude and awe at your incredible love! You conquered sin and death, and made a way for us to be right with you. Help us to remember this truth and live by it each day, serving you out of love and always remaining strong in our faith. Amen.
Written by Madelaine Tarasenko