“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hope is a commodity that can often be in short supply at various times in our lives. We face many challenges and adversities, that can reduce the sense of hope within. Even at times when we have hope in abundance, it can be misplaced, hoping in things that readily let us down.
As an Ireland rugby fan, much of this year was filled with hope. The World Cup loomed large, and Ireland were as equipped as ever to overcome “the quarter-final hoodoo” that has blighted them in seasons past. However, on the morning of Sunday 15th October, that hope had been extinguished, with many recurring thoughts of what might have been. Now, someone would rightly point out the frailty of where my hope was invested and the relative unimportance thereof. However, it does serve to highlight some of the fragile locations we place our hope.
When Christmas comes around, I am once again reminded of the One in whom hope can be rightly placed, the only one capable of bearing the weight of expectant hope.
The verses of 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 define the essence of this hope and the great victory it achieved. Although at times throughout our lives we may seek hope and deliverance from certain situations, through these verses I am reminded of both the greatest need that I have and the greatest deliverance.
The birth of Christ was just the beginning of a mission that He embarked upon to give people Hope. Not only was Christ the only one able to bear the weight of Hope, but He administered this hope in the area where I needed it most. Beyond the surface issues of everyday life lay the greatest enemy of all, sin and death. These were the entities that kept me from a relationship with my creator and the fullness of life that can flow from it.
Through Jesus' death and resurrection, victory over these enemies was achieved. For you and I this means, through faith, the gates are open to enter into the victory that Christ achieved and enjoy the spoils of that victory with Him forever.
All of this was made possible because He came!
By Phil Orr