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.
O death, where is your victory?
“We cannot but hate death,
even when we have ceased to fear it,
and know that for us its sting has been extracted.
We hate it,
and thrust it from us;
loathing its advances,
and waging daily war with it—
seeking by every appliance of skill to overcome it and ward off its stroke.
We hate it because of its
and its coldness,
and its silence.
We hate it as the great robber
of our loves and joys,
who gives nothing but takes everything.
It cuts so many ties;
it rends so many hearts;
it silences so many voices;
it thins so many firesides;
it comes with its dark veil,
its screen of ice,
between friend and friend,
between soul and soul,
between parent and child,
between husband and wife,
between sister and brother.
Of human sympathies it has none;
it concerns not itself about our joys or sorrows;
it spares no dear one,
and restores no lost one;
it is pitiless and dumb;
it is as powerful as it is inexorable,
striking down the weak,
and wrestling with the strong
till they succumb and fall. …
Its history is one of evil,
not of good;
of breaking down,
not of building up;
not of gathering;
not of light;
and tossings to and fro,
not of health and brightness. …
Death has been the sword of law for ages;
but when it has done its work on earth,
God takes this sword,
red with the blood of millions,
snaps it in pieces before the universe,
and casts its fragments into the flame. …
We preach Jesus and the resurrection;
Jesus the resurrection and the life;
Jesus our life.
We bring glad tidings concerning this risen One,
and that finished work of which resurrection is the seal;
glad tidings concerning God’s free love in connection with this risen One.
The knowledge of this risen One is
Oh then, what is there in our dying world like this to impart consolation and gladness?
We shall not die,
Eternity is a life,
and not a death;
a life with Christ,
and a life in Christ.
For the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne
shall lead us to the living fountains of waters,
and God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes.”
—Horatius Bonar, Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes (Dust & Ashes, 2002), 5:229—236.