"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55, 57
As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, March 12, 1972.
In the cross of Jesus Christ I see God dealing with death and all of its indignities. He did not avoid it; He took it just as it is. That’s God, facing death.
In Jesus Christ you see God letting death have its way with Him, heaping the indignities of pain and helplessness upon Him. In the cross of Jesus Christ, God dealt with the cause of death, which is sin. His Son died without sin. He didn’t have to die; He just laid His life on the line. God’s Son took the ultimate indignity of sin upon Himself. Though He was without sin, He was made to be sin for all this sinful world of ours.
You say that isn’t right? Maybe it isn’t to our way of thinking. But it’s God’s way of doing things. His is not the ordinary way. If sin causes injustice and evil and suffering and tragedy, the Son of God took that for all of us. If sin causes death, He took that, too. He did not just die a martyr’s death. He faced the greatest enemy of all and overcame it.
Jesus Christ bore the indignity for us. It is our sin and our death that He took. Nobody has understood His cross until he has gotten that. As the prophet said, "He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows … He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). That’s what He did.
Lord God, help us to overcome the indignity of death by the power of faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Cross (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).
Copyright © 2006 by Lutheran Hour Ministries
*The Lutheran Hour is the longest-running Christian radio broadcast in the world. It is a production of Lutheran Hour Ministries. For more information, visit www.lutheranhour.org.