Removing the Deadly “Stinger”

“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 Corinthians 15:55-7

The Australian box jellyfish is considered the most venomous creature in the ocean. It gets its name from the cube-like shape of its bell. As many as 60 tentacles grow from the bell and can reach 10 feet in length. Each tentacle has about 5,000 stinging cells. Its venom contains toxins that attack the heart, nervous system, and skin cells. It is so overpoweringly painful, human victims have been known to go into shock and drown or die of heart failure before even reaching shore. You do NOT want to bump into a box jellyfish.

Unless, of course, someone had removed every stinger from its tentacles. Without stingers, there would be nothing to fear from a box jellyfish. It would become as dangerous as the stuffed octopus your child won at the county fair. There would be no reason to fear this formerly frightening creature.

The Bible tells us about another formerly frightening creature we no longer need to fear. It is a creature we will all face. Unlike the box jellyfish, we cannot avoid this creature by staying out of the ocean. The creature is death.

But listen to what the Bible says about death: “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.

Death is frightening because we know that when we die we will meet our Maker. And we know we have disobeyed him. But Jesus washed away our disobedience when he went to the cross. He removed our reason for being afraid of death. Because of Jesus, death is but the doorway to a far better, eternal existence in heaven.

If you are ever swimming off the northern coast of Australia, you have good reason to be afraid of box jellyfish. But you do not need to be afraid of death. Jesus has removed its sting.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you, thank you, thank you, for washing away my sin so that I do not need to fear my death. Grant that this truth comforts and calms me this day.

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