1 Corinthians 15:55-58
O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?…
There are two symbolic works of art, the Laocoon and St. George and the Dragon, which may be taken as setting forth in contrasted forms the irrepressible conflict of man with the alien forces of the spirit world which underlies all mythologies and religions. In the Laocoon, that peerless work of ancient sculpture, the death-like struggles of the priest-father as he vainly endeavours to tear the coiling serpents from himself and children presents a picture of man contending in his own might against the mightier powers of evil. The artist has caught the passion at its highest point, as Lessing with fine critical insight has pointed out. In the midst of a tempest of agony there is a calm like the peaceful depths beneath the wind-tossed surface of the sea. But the calm which overspreads the face, suffusing with sublime power the lines of pain, is not the calm of resignation or of hope, but of mute, heroic despair. The Laocoon is a confession in marble of the failure of man at his best to gain the mastery over evil. In St. George and the Dragon the same struggle is portrayed, but here the saint is victor. Entering the lists against the devouring, anarchic principle, of which the Dragon is the emblem, he returns from the conflict in triumph. The greatest object of human effort is attained, the highest hope of the human heart is met, the Dragon is slain, and man delivered. Deliverance is wrought out through the interposition of another. One whose heart heaven has touched with the spirit of holy chivalry wins, with his own strong arm, redemption for the weak. Fit emblem of the greater victory won by the "Strong Son of God," who came down to earth to rescue perishing souls from the powers of darkness and sin!
Parallel VersesKJV: O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?