Anticipating Resurrection

Week 6 Day 4

1 Corinthians 15:54-57
54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about 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.
The anticipation of something is the enjoyment before the enjoyment. Many of us have memories as children of sleepless nights anticipating the joy of Christmas morning, hoping we will receive what was on our wish list. Now as we look back an essential part of the memory is not only the gift itself but also waiting in expectation to receive what we hoped for. In a culture that specializes in instant gratification the importance of anticipation is easily lost. In one way, anticipation is a time of waiting in expectation that causes the gift or experience received to increase in value.

In these verses, Paul is declaring the victory over death in Christ’s resurrection and urging us to look forward in anticipation at the ultimate defeat of death for every believer. We look forward to the mystery of bodily resurrection in which we trade our mortal and perishable bodies for an imperishable and immortal body no longer subject to sickness, disease, decay, and death. In verses 54-55, Paul cites Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14, showing us indeed that Christ is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophets who spoke of a future victory in which even death will be overcome by those who have their faith in hope in God. Death is our ultimate enemy, inescapable and certain for all mankind, but there is still a greater victory for those who put their faith in Jesus, who will swallow up death once and for all. We can join Paul staring down death without fear in our hearts saying, “O death, where is your sting, O death, where is your victory?”

You are certain to either have experienced, are currently experiencing, or will experience the sting of death. Loss of loved ones, war, broken relationships, sickness, weakness, and fear. The sting is real. The sting is not the end of the story. Not for believers. In your struggle do not stop anticipating the victory we will experience in Christ. Let your Christian walk be filled with anticipation so that when you finally experience the gift and the giver you will appreciate it all the more!

Reflection and Prayer

How does the cultural emphasis of instant gratification impact my approach to waiting and anticipation in various aspects of life, including faith and spiritual growth?

In what specific areas of my life do I need to acknowledge the victory over death that Christ’s resurrection has provided?

Father, the sting of death is real, but I praise you and thank you for the victory we have in Christ. May I anticipate my future hope of resurrection more each day as death draws nearer and yet victory approaches. You, Jesus, are my only hope in life and death.

Faith Bible Staff