"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. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
Although you're not being graded, here is a test for you. The test has a number of questions but all of the answers are the same. Let's see if you can come up with the right response.
1. What killed more sailors than all battles, storms and shipwrecks together?
2. What wiped out more than 80 percent of Magellan's crew during his voyage?
3. Between 1500 and 1800 what killed two million sailors?
4. What illness was called "the plague of the sea"?
5. What illness can be cured by eating one-fifth of an orange, daily for a week?
So, how did you do? Did you get the right answer: scurvy? It's hard to believe an illness that can so easily be taken care of destroyed so many, killed them in a nasty way.
Scurvy's symptoms begin with lethargy, achy joints, swollen limbs, and lose teeth. Nasty? You bet. But it got worse. Left unchecked, the victim's skin would turn yellow, then black. That happened right before the individual died from internal bleeding.
It's sad that so many people died from something so easily prevented.
Of course, up to now we've been talking about physical death. Don't be surprised if I tell you many of the same rules hold true for eternal death and damnation.
Right now many millions are dying eternally because their souls have been infected by unforgiven sins. Left unchecked, the disease will stay with them their entire lives and, eventually, it will be responsible for their demise -- temporally and eternally.
But there is a cure.
That cure comes in the Person of Jesus Christ. For reasons which defy logic, the Heavenly Father sent His Son into this world. Here Jesus lived as one of us except for the fact He never succumbed to temptations and He never sinned. It was a difference that infuriated many of those He had come to save. So negative was the world's opinion of Jesus, they eventually trumped up some charges against Him, condemned Him, and killed Him.
If Jesus had stayed dead, that would have been the end of His story ... and the end of ours.
But Jesus didn't stay dead. Three days after He was buried in a borrowed tomb, Jesus rose and showed the world He had won the victory. In that victory His blood became the freely given medicine that can save the world. Jesus' blood is the cure for all who are given faith in Him as their Savior. Jesus is the cure which saves; He is the cure we share with the dying world.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, accept my praise for sending the Savior whose victory over sin, the devil, and death has provided me with the cure from sin. Grant that I may share that cure with others who are sick in their sin and dying. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries