VICTORY OVER DEATH
Gracious Lord, challenge me where I have faltered, encourage me when I have despaired, strengthen me when I am weak.
Read 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.”[a]
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”[b]
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.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectGod has given us the victory over death, through our Lord Jesus Christ! How do you express your thanks? (v 57)
Wearing the right clothes for the right occasion is important! Paul’s words, in verses 50-54, highlight the change that will happen in resurrection. What sort of body will we have when we are raised (v 35)? In verse 51 Paul says, ‘… we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed’. He is not referring here just to the Corinthian Christians, but to Christians in general.
There will be Christians still alive on the day that Jesus returns, whenever that may be. They will be living mortal lives in perishable bodies that decay with age, but these ‘clothes’ will be changed when the resurrected Jesus returns (v 52)! People’s bodies will be transformed instantly to immortal, imperishable bodies, so that they are dressed appropriately. Then the sting of sin and the power of the law will be removed once and for all (vs 55,56) through the victory of Jesus over death (v 57).
Paul shows the implications of the victory of Jesus for our living as Christians in the present (v 58). Because Jesus is victorious over death, nothing we do for the Lord is ever wasted. Therefore, we should stand firm and give ourselves fully to living and working in the present for Jesus.
Are there those around you who are discouraged, fearful, feeling lost? Encourage them with the victory that Christ’s resurrection brings.
Yes Lord, thanks indeed! Thanks to you for the victory that is mine, in and through Christ Jesus my Lord.
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