By Brooke Holt
“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘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. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” - 1 Corinthians 15:54-58
What is the ultimate fear of people? Death. You know that. It is the contemplation of our own death or the death of those whom we love. Paul sought to break through that fear as he declared the best news ever: death has been defeated, swallowed up through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That great fear of your own death or the pain of a loved one’s death has been conquered in Jesus.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are called to live in this truth. Though there is understandable sadness, fear, and pain with death in this world, the victory over that death has been won. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins and then was raised from the grave on the third day, he defeated sin, death, and Satan. Those who trust in him will also overcome fully.
We are the victors over sin, death, and Satan, yet we are still subjected to these things in this world. How are we to claim the victory and break free from the fear? Paul wrote to be steadfast and immovable in faith. That means that when the fear rises within you, you bring that fear to Jesus. We say, “Jesus, help me to know, believe, and cling to your truth.”
Paul went on to instruct you to abound in the work of the Lord. You don’t make the way for your victory; you receive the victory through Jesus, and can then abound in his grace, favor, and goodness to you. There is no physical assertion needed on your part just a humble reception of what has been done for you and provided for you.
Lastly, Paul tells you to remember that your labor here is not in vain. Everything you do to build the kingdom of God, to remind yourself of his goodness—all that you do for God and through God will be rewarded in the age to come.
God’s promises are perfect and true! You will taste victory in this life through faith, and then you will experience full victory when you see the Lord face to face.
How does the Lord want to encourage you through these victorious words today? What fears does he want to calm or what hope does he long for you to embrace? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Crucified Life small group Christian study is designed to reflect upon the Seven Last Words of Christ from the cross and what they mean for us today. Walk the road of Calvary with Jesus in order to grow closer to Him. The Crucified Life small group study examines human suffering as it is mirrored in Christ’s suffering on the cross and what His seven last words say to a hurting world. Find out incredible insights into these words as Jesus teaches us, even in death, how we can use our suffering and triumph over it for His glory. Begin your Crucified Life today.
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