Read: 1 Corinthians 15:51-57
But once this perishable body has put on imperishability, and this mortal body has put on immortality, then what is written will be fulfilled: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory? 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 15:54-57
Victory When It Looks Like You Lost
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
There was a high school basketball team that was up by one point when the fourth quarter buzzer went off. The bench cleared and they were celebrating in the middle of the court. It took ten minutes for the referees to get the players and fans off the court and explain to the team that the other team’s coach had called a timeout with one second left on the clock. Maybe you can guess what happened. The team that was down by one point ended up making a shot in the last second of the game. They ended up winning when it had previously looked like they had lost.
A similar course of events took place on Good Friday. Jesus—Immanuel, God with us—died on the cross. It looked like Jesus lost and death won. Jesus’ followers were heartbroken with sadness. Until three days later… Friday – day 1, Saturday – day 2, Sunday – day 3… when Jesus rose from the dead!
Maybe you have had a similar feeling if you’ve ever gone to a funeral. Your dear loved one is no longer with you on this earth. Again, it looks like death has won. But that’s not what the pastor told you at the funeral, is it? He told you that death has been swallowed up in victory. It means that there is victory even when it looks like you lost, because Jesus’ victory over sin and death is your victory.
Your body is a beautiful thing. But it is a body that breaks down—a body that feels aches and pains, a body that gets sick, a body that will finally wear out. Again, it might look like we are losing until you hear God’s promise of a great victory through Jesus. Someday God will call us home to heaven where we will have a perfect home in a glorious body for all eternity. So if you think you are losing, think about Jesus! “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for the victory you won for us through Jesus. Remind us every day that our sins are forgiven, death has been conquered, and heaven has been won for us. In our Savior’s name we pray. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Have you ever gotten hurt? Tell your family about it.
- What does Jesus promise heaven will be like?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Describe how you feel when you lose in a board game or sporting event.
- How does God want you to feel knowing Jesus won the victory over death?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Describe how you felt when you went to a funeral of a loved one.
- What are some words of comfort you can remember for yourself at the funeral of a believer?