Like a Monty Python scene, the Christian message presented today claims that Jesus gave everything, and yet 90% of humanity will burn in flames for eternity. Then they go on to say how Satan is a defeated enemy, and then quote scripture like 1 Corinthians 15:55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
Well, if 90% of humanity is burning in flames for eternity, death would be like, “It’s right there, wise guy.”
Death could say to Paul, “I had everybody. I had 100%. Your God gave his all, gave it his BEST, sent His Son to this earth to save people and He got back 10%. So there’s my victory! I kicked your —. Your ‘All Powerful God’ gave it His best effort and was a 90% failure! It went from 100% down to 90% and your God gave His all. In fact, your God could have done four times better and it would still be considered a pretty good a—whoopin. That’s how bad he lost. So where’s the victory? It’s right there.”
(That was death trash-talking to Paul.)
So that’s the story, as told in modern churches today: God comes and scoops up a handful of people, can’t figure out how to outwit death to save the other 90%, and then by any logical and objective measure, death wins. Then, like a joke, the remaining crippled stump (opponent of death) says, “Get back here! I’m not through with you! Where’s your sting?!”
So where is the sting and victory? They’re gone! Jesus reconciled the world back to the Father. It’s finished. Done, Son.
Now, our purpose is to understand who we are and act like we have been reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:20). Our job is to understand and believe it. The belief isn’t to stroke God’s ego, as if He needed your validation. It’s because however you believe will determine what you do and will control you. Once you start believing, you’ll start doing things differently.
Jesus saved us from our sin. I don’t think that means that He redirected God’s anger onto Himself, as we are so often told. After Adam sinned, did you notice who hid from whom? God didn’t have to hide His face from Adam, as though Adam’s disobedience was like Kryptonite against God’s holiness. Man hid himself from God after sinning. Man was ashamed and no longer felt a connection to his creator. God built us. He knew that we were unable to remain connected to Him after we had sinned. God went out to get Adam, like a good shepherd finding a lost sheep.
When Jesus laid down His life, that connection is what He restored. It took pure holiness submitting itself unto death, to the curse that we were subjected to, and then beating death, proving to us that indeed, GOD IS WITH US.
Getting that fact into your heart is what saves you. Why would that save you? Because the separation happened in your mind. The war is in your mind. You must be renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator (Colossians 3:10). You must cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Setting your mind on the Spirit is life (Romans 8:6). To “repent”, by definition, is to “CHANGE YOUR MIND”! (https://biblehub.com/greek/3341.htm)
Jesus came to earth to change your sinful mind and bring you back to Him. Jesus didn’t change the Father’s mind. Jesus was already one with the Father, meaning that they were of the same mind. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We are the fickle ones. Not God. God never left man. Man left God.
So, we were reconciled and now we can be saved. We’re saved by knowing that we were reconciled and then being reconciled, which is by going back into fellowship with God and not sinning anymore. We’re saved by understanding that we’re free from the grip and the penalty of sin, as long as we don’t go on sinning. We’re saved when we finally believe and act upon the knowledge that we’re not God’s enemy.
So when he said “death where’s your sting”, it wasn’t a poorly thought out question. If you think 90% of people are going to hell… heck, even if you think 20% are going to hell, still, there’s a sting. There’s a victory there. He’s saying “Where is it? You don’t have it.”
Look at the hands of Jesus. That’s where the victory is. And it’s a full victory. It’s a 100% victory. And if it weren’t then He would not be doing the will of the Father, which would mean He’s not the savior of anybody. He either did the will of the Father and He’s perfect, or He failed and cannot be the savior of anyone.
It’s all or nothing.