Jesus Has Taken the Sting of Death

Quite a few years ago, in the parking lot of a grocery store, a young mother was struggling with her load of groceries.  The grocery cart was full, and so were her arms.  When she reached her car, she placed one package on the roof of the car while she reached into her purse for the keys to unlock the car door.  She then moved her bags from the grocery cart into the car.  But when she got into the car and began to drive away, a young man noticed that she had forgotten to retrieve the package which she had set on the roof of the car.  He quickly ran after her as she headed toward the street.  As she began to accelerate to pull onto the street, the package began to slide off the roof of the car.  Fortunately the young man caught up with the car just then and caught the package just before it hit the pavement.  More accurately, the young man caught the package just before she hit the ground, for the package was a baby girl in a baby-carrier.    

The young man had perceived the predicament.  He saw that a baby was in critical danger of falling from a moving car, and he rushed to her rescue.

That is also the story of Good Friday and Easter. The whole of the human race was in critical danger of death and destruction, but God saw our predicament and rushed to our rescue.  God came into our world as one of us then rushed to catch us before it was too late.  The way he caught us was by dying as we do then conquering death. 

In 1st Corinthians 15:51-55, the apostle Paul writes about the miracle of what happens for us because of Jesus’ death and resurrection: “Listen, I will tell you a mystery!  We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’  ‘Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?’”

Christ’s death and resurrection has taken away the sting of death.

A little boy and his father were driving down a country road on a beautiful spring afternoon.  Suddenly a bumblebee flew in the car window.  Since the little boy was deathly allergic to bee stings, he began to panic.  But the father reached out, grabbed the bee, squeezed it in his hand, then released it.  But as soon as he let it go, the young son became frantic once again.  His father saw his panic-stricken face.  Once again, the father reached out his hand, but this time he merely showed his hand to his son.  There, still stuck in his skin was the stinger of the bee.  “Do you see this?” he asked his son.  “You don’t need to be afraid anymore.  I’ve taken the sting for you.”

That’s what Jesus has done for us.

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