1 Corinthians 15:50-58
50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
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 Ps. Madelaine Tarasenko