“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 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.” I Corinthians 15:56-58
Consider the reaction we have at the sense of victory. What happens to you when your sports team clinches the championship in the final seconds? Or when you get that promotion you have been working towards for years? Or when you get the notice from your doctor that you have beaten cancer? What happens in the soul? Celebration. Elation. Joy.
Now consider this- what was the greatest victory that was ever accomplished in human history? It wasn’t a sickness cured or a victim rescued or a war won. It was the victory that Jesus Christ purchased for believers at calvary. It was an actual event that is the greatest story that has ever been told. Jesus was an actual man, who really lived, who really bled, and who really hung on a tree, and who really bore the full wrath of God to purchase redemption for us.
This victory was planned before the formation of the world. This victory was foretold after the first sin entered the world and corrupted all of creation. This victory was the substance of the shadow of bulls and sheep that were sacrificed. This victory was looked for by a longing people who read of the prophecies of a coming Messiah. This victory entered the world as a baby born of a virgin, adopted by a simple carpenter. This victory was the greatest act of injustice as a perfectly innocent Jesus was tried, flogged and executed. This victory was secured when he defeated death by stepping on the neck of Satan and rising from the dead.
This victory was given to us by grace through faith. He gave us the victory.
Because of our sinful offenses towards a perfectly just and holy God we deserve hell. All of us. For all of eternity. Yet, for those who would look to the cross and trust in this victory, nothing in this life is in vain. Therefore, today, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord (through his victory) your labor is not in vain. Your life means something because of the victory in Christ Jesus.
You can only come before God today because of the complete, perfect and joyful victory that Jesus secured for you. So celebrate it and take joy in this victory this morning. He is risen indeed!