“O Death, Where Is Thy Victory”

I’ve always felt a bit uneasy referring to the day our Savior was crucified as Good Friday. Oh, I understand why we call it that since with the Christ’s sacrifice on the cross our redemption was secured.

But I think that may exemplify a problem that sinful man has. We would all say that God’s glory is what all His creation and everything else is about and that God shares His glory with no one. This is as it should be since God is without equal! But do we believers act as though we believe that? We read the Bible from the perspective of what is God saying to me when perhaps our perspective should be how is God being glorified in these verses. Same with circumstances, we tend to view them through the lens of how they impact self when perhaps we should be trying to see how God is being glorified through them. I confess this is one of my many weaknesses but how our lives could be changed if God’s glory was the lens through which we experienced life. Then either good times or bad times become opportunities for God to be glorified. Good health or bad health; promotion, demotion; marriage or staying single; wealthy or poor; all opportunities for God to be glorified. And the natural side effect from experiencing life through this lens is it takes much of the sting out of bad circumstances and adds a little more spice to the good.

We are told in 1st Thessalonians 4: 13 that we should not grieve as those with no hope which is the way we must view Jesus’ death for us to call it Good Friday and that because we know it was the Father’s plan and for His glory.

1st Corinthians 15: 55 says “O death, where is by victory? O death, where is thy sting”. What comfort I’ve received when I’ve looked at my Shaun’s death through the lens of God’s glory and Shaun’s good for he’s now walking on streets of gold with the Christ.

So why do we fear death if it brings glory to God? Separation, of course, is one of the reasons. We don’t want to be separated from someone we love and care for. God made us relationally and so we are naturally going to miss those taken from us by death. Even the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son looked down the road daily for his son because he missed him. Perhaps primarily missing our loved ones is how we grieve with hope.

And, as humans, we fear, or at least are anxious about the unknown with death being one of the ultimate, inevitable unknowns.

This fear is magnified if as Christians we have failed to study and better understand what awaits us once we close our eyes on planet earth for the last time and instantaneously open them in paradise. Remember, one of the common denominators in the members of the Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame of Faith was that there home was not on this earth. They had a heavenly home which enabled them to view life through a heavenly perspective with God’s glory being their ultimate motivation. Ignorance breeds fear but the sting of death has been forever removed by God Himself so we have no reason to fear death. We are naturally going to miss those we love but the length of separation is a drop in the bucket when compared to spending eternity together.

So I say all this to make the point that perspective, the glasses through which we view life, impacts how we view death. Is it a gateway to God’s glory or the scary unknown? There’s an old saying that we are “so heavenly minded we are no earthly good”. If I may alter that slightly, if we are heavenly minded then fear is no earthly good.

Mason Swinney.

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About menmourningmoments

I'm happily married, the Father of 2 sons and 2 daughters and 4 beautiful grandchildren. Death is all around us but somehow we've managed to distance ourselves from it. Men, Mourning, Moments is about how the death of my son awakened me to life & the desire to seize every moment as though it were my last. It's about making sense of life in the good times and bad and allowing GOD to carry me and teach me through the hard times in life.
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4 Responses to “O Death, Where Is Thy Victory”

  1. Candy Konkler says:

    great thoughts. I forwarded to a couple of people to read. Invitedt them to visit your blog.

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  2. Thank you Candy that was mighty thoughtful of you. What would I do without friends like you.

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  3. Kory Capps says:

    Mason, keep the thoughts coming on this topic…I really appreciate your insights. This post made me think of a couple of things. First, the idea of glorifying God through death is something I really want to think about and understand more. Your thoughts made me think of John 21:19 where Jesus is talking to Peter about how his death would “glorify God.” I feel like I have so much to learn here. Second, you really captured the New Testament tension of death being both loss and gain. We can see NT texts that emphasize both sides of this tension. It is in the embrace of both that grief and hope intermingle. Third, your discussion on the resurrection was very helpful. I am realizing that this piece may be the most critical in any and all discussions of death. Without it hope is vain and impossible. What a mighty hope it truly is. Again, I really want to spend more time thinking about this….it is no mistake that Paul discusses the resurrection at the return of Christ with grieving people and then calls them to “encourage one another with these words.” Your posts have pushed me to study these things further—eventually I will follow your lead and do a series of posts on this theme. Thanks Mason!

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  4. Thanks Kory. You taught me to live life through the cross and the more I do that the more I see our misconceptions and wrong thinking on things. Jesus referred to the cross as the joy set before Him. That has always blown me away and gives love a whole new meaning and God’s glory a whole new focus. Not to mention what it says at least about my understanding of joy itself. Thanks again Kory for your thoughts and encouragement.

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