Dear friends. I once read a story about a passenger on a commercial airplane that gave me the heebie-jeebies. Back in the days when airlines served meals on domestic flights, a passenger was eating his lunch when he felt something land in his hair. He reached up to his head to see what hit him, which caused a scorpion to fall off his head onto his lunch plate. The passenger freaked out and pushed the scorpion away but it stung him. The passenger was given first aid, and the scorpion was caught by a flight attendant and flushed down the airplane’s toilet.
Most of us would pass on the prospect of flying to a destination if there was a good chance of being stung by a scorpion. Perhaps only one situation where all of us would. Would you rather fly on an airplane and be stung by a scorpion, or would you rather feel the sting of a beloved’s death? Kind of a silly question…but is it?
Some of you know how you would answer because you have recently felt the sting of death. It may have been a while for some of you, but your heart doesn’t hurt any less due to time. Time does not heal this wound. At best, we have learned how to manage through life despite the sting of death. For some, the pain is sporadic; it doesn’t hurt as much when one is distracted with other things, but then, out of nowhere, one is reminded of the loved one, and the sting is painful. It is a pain that doesn’t care about gender, age, or station in life. It is a real pain. And it’s a pain that we face head-on on Easter morning.
While being totally God, Christ Jesus was totally man, and Jesus truly died on Calvary’s cross. He was dead as sure as our loved ones have died. His mother, Mary, His family, and His friends were struck hard by the sting of death. However, on the third day, Jesus rose from the tomb! He had been stung by death but not defeated by it. By His bodily resurrection He shows all that He has conquered death.
This is why His Apostle Paul wrote to the Church of Corinth and us across time: “51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 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 shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 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.”55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 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.”
Death had lost its sting! Death doesn’t ever get the final say in a person’s life. The risen Jesus Christ has the last say! Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed, Alleluia!
Blessed Easter to you all!