Friday, March 29, 2019

Death, where is your sting?

Hi friends,

Many of us who have been in church for a while have heard the verse 'death, where is your sting?' and know it to come from 1 Corinthians 15:55, written by the apostle Paul to the church in Corinth. But when I looked up this verse, I discovered that it is a quote from Hosea 13:14, which in the NIV translation says:

“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;
    I will redeem them from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
    Where, O grave, is your destruction?

Here's the interesting thing that I learnt when reading the notes in my study Bible: the original Hebrew language of this text can be read as either a statement or a question (Hebrew doesn't use punctuation, and the grammar could mean either in this case). So the NASB translation of this verse says:

Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?
Shall I redeem them from death?
O Death, where are your thorns?
O Sheol, where is your sting?

But in the New Covenant, because of Jesus' triumph over death and the grave, we have certainty about this statement - no more questions! Paul's quotation of this verse from Hosea puts his readers in no doubt about the answer to this question:

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”
 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Cor 15:54-57)

Amen and amen! Thank you Jesus for removing the uncertainty of the past and giving us assurance of victory!

I wanted to create a page that looked like the darkness of death being taken over and swallowed up by the light, so I used some acrylic paints to create the background on this page. I stamped the main image from Victory in Jesus onto watercolour paper, coloured it with watercolours then fussy cut it out, sticking it onto the page with some Matt Gel Medium. The question marks are from two different alphabet sets (one coming new next month!) and I used Distress paint to stamp them over the black, going over the thinner ones with a white gel pen.

Let's remember that Jesus has removed all doubt when it comes to the fact that God has redeemed us from the power of death - thanks be to God!

Be blessed...

x Amy x

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