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Where, O Death, is Your Victory…
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). This is a joyful cry lifted up by Paul in his own prophetic exclamation of joy at the victory that was won by Jesus on the cross. Because of Jesus’ self-giving and selfless act on the cross we have been freed from our former slavery to both sin and death. Because he is the resurrection and the life, eternal life is ours; if we believe and openly live our belief. Those of you who know and love Handel’s Messiah will recognize the words of Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians in his text for his great and joyous musical oratorio, the Hallelujah Chorus. They are heard in the third part of the choral work where he lifts up his great Hallelujah in joyful praise of the gift of the resurrection on the Last Day. He writes, and the chorus sings, “The trumpets shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality...O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through Lord Jesus Christ.” If you have not listened to the Hallelujah Chorus for a while, go to it and you will hear the joy that belongs to these prophetic words from Paul. We Christians are called to live our lives in light of this promised resurrection. We no longer live in the darkness of despair. Jesus is the reason for our hope as we sojourn through this life. Yes, we know ourselves to be weak and…