But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. . . For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:20-22, 25-26
One day, a mother and her two children were in the park having a wonderful time. They were enjoying the outdoors until a big bumblebee landed on little Brother and then stung him! He began to cry and scream like any child would as the wound on his arm became swollen. The bee was still buzzing around, and his little sister was petrified. The mother comforted her daughter by saying, “Darling, wait a minute.” As she was wiping Brother’s tears away, she said, “Look down here on your brother’s arm.” Right in the middle of that swelling was the bumblebee’s stinger. “You see that, Sweetheart? That bee can buzz and fight you, but he can’t hurt you. You see, he can only sting once and he has left his stinger in your brother.”
While death is a decided fact, Death is also a defeated foe. We are able to laugh in the face of Death if we know the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to tell you, friend, Death may buzz around you and frighten you, but our elder brother, the Lord Jesus, bears that sting. Jesus took the sting out of Death, and He has given us a hope that is steadfast and sure.
Jesus told Death that he couldn’t keep Him. You see – Jesus willingly and vicariously laid down His life. The wages of sin is death, but Jesus was not a sinner and did not have to die. Jesus willingly, voluntarily, vicariously laid down His life.
Death thought he had a victory. Old King Death laid his icy, bony hands on the Lord Jesus Christ and shackled Him with the bonds of death. Jesus lay cold, stiff, and stark in that tomb. Old King Death possibly clapped his bony hands, shrieked a hoarse laugh and declared, “I have Him! He’s mine. I am going to keep Him.” But after three days, the Lord Jesus stirred, and He majestically rose from His resting place. Jesus did more than survive death. He defeated and decimated death in that tomb.
He got up from that stone slab. He turned around and folded the napkin that covered His face. There was no hurry. He was in complete control. I love that part — when the disciples entered the tomb, they found that folded napkin placed over His face.
There was that cruel king of terrors, Death, sitting upon the throne. But this time Death had a terrified look on his face because no one had done this before. Jesus began to walk toward him. Jesus reached up and pulled him from the throne and cast him to the floor. Death cowered in the corner of that tomb that had become his dungeon. Jesus put His heel on the neck of Death and reached down and pulled the sting out of Death. Jesus put the crown upon His own head and walked out of that tomb a risen, living, victorious Savior. Hallelujah!
One of these days there’s going to come a shout from the lips of the Lord Jesus when He returns. And that shout will go into the tombs of those who have named Him as Lord and Savior. We’re going to hear the shout that Lazarus heard. Our Lord is going to step down from His majestic throne in glory, and I believe the shout will be: “Come forth, come forth.” The voice of the Savior will roll through the length and breadth of Satan’s ruined empire and bring it crashing down.
At the command of the Lord Jesus Christ, the seas will heave and give up the dead which are in them; the winding sheets of the deserts will give up the dead that are in them; the battlefields of this world will give up the dead that are in them and the graveyards will, perhaps, look like plowed fields as the Lord Jesus shouts, “Come forth.”
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
1 Corinthians 15:55
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