1 Corinthians 15:55-58
O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?…
I. WHAT IS THIS "STING OF DEATH"? It is not So much any actual pain in dying. We go through greater pains very often during life. It lies in —
1. The parting. The very thought of being separated from those we love is anguish.
2. The general dread of the unknown. No hand to clasp! No voice to hear! However we have lived, it will be a solitary thing to die.
3. A sense of shame. "I am ashamed to meet some whom I shall see again. I am ashamed to give up a life so little used, so sadly wasted!"
4. The sense of actual sin. "I am going to a God I have offended, and whose law I have broken. Must He not in very justice cast me out?" And where shall I go? What suffering do I not richly deserve? And the fear rankles in the breast, and conscience wakes up its phantoms and its horrors.
II. ITS CURE. The whole "sting" of sin, and therefore the whole "sting of death," passed into Christ, and death is left stingless to all who believe and accept Him. See the actual results.
1. Parting? It is nominal. Death does not change or interfere with the communion of saints. For a little while the departed are invisible, but they will very soon be visible again.
2. The darkness cannot be. If He is there who is the light, how can there be darkness?
3. How can the passage be lonely? "When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee." And are we not attended by angels?
4. And shame, Am I not clothed in His perfect righteousness? And Jesus is with me. Where is the shame? And be my sins what they may, they are cast into the depths of the sea; they will not be mentioned; they are no more.
5. And what room can there be for fear? "Fear thou not, for I am with thee."
(J. Vaughan, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?