Death, Where is Your Sting?

It’s here piercing my heart and the heart of my family tonight as we grieve. March 28th, 2023, my grandmother died. Although the pain in my heart is deep, hope is my shield. I watched as the maws of cancer ravaged her perishable body leaving behind a fraction of the person she once was. But now she has an imperishable body. And this is the whole point of Easter- the resurrection of Christ. Jesus rose from that grave so that we can share in His victory over death.

The weight of grief is carried on the finality of death. But that finality is potentially a lie. It’s simply the end of a chapter of a never-ending book. Death is not a part of life, you can have life without death. In fact, that’s how God originally created the world to be (Genesis 1:29-31). But death entered the world and infected all life on earth when Adam chose to sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23. Because of the disobedience of our ancestors, which is continued on through us, we earned a world with death. 

Rather than looking at death as simply a state of being, I think death is to be understood in two ways. In the Genesis 3 account, God had told Adam not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden because he would surely die. This is when Adam’s body became mortal, but it is also when he and Eve were separated from God. Separation from God is a far more terrifying form of death. Jesus says in Matthew 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both the soul and body in hell.” I know that my grandmother was saved from the second death for she believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and trusted in His gift of eternal life.

Although death has shaken us tonight, it shall not have victory. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?… But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). We serve the Living God who raises the dead. And I will be with my grandma again in paradise.

“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
A feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
Of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined…
He will swallow up death forever; 
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
And the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth.
For the Lord has spoken.”

Isaiah 26:19

Save me a glass of that well-aged pink mascota and some pierogies. I’ll be there soon enough, have fun with your great-grandson in the meantime. Once you’ve had your fill of resting in peace, dance in the joy of true life. Until I see you again, Nonny, I love you more.

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