"O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
1 Corinthians 15:55
There was blood everywhere. The ground was covered with dark, red blood. You could see it staining the rubble, the broken pieces of what was once an Egyptian church. This was the news the day after Palm Sunday. Two churches bombed, 44 killed. I have no frame of reference for this, but I'm imagining a unbound fear runs freely. I've heard Easter services are cancelled.
And I wondered about this victory?
A few months ago, a different bomb went off in the lives of a family I know. A phone call told me a young man I cared about had died, an overdose the cause. There was an overwhelming anguish in my spirit. And then memories; he knew Jesus, he was baptized, he was loved. I told myself, "He is safe now." And while I know there is victory, it's hard to say it. It's too early to see it.
It can take a long time for our hearts to catch up with our heads to catch up with our souls. Graciously, God is patient with us. We know Jesus has won. He has utterly vanquished the sting and permanency of death forever. We know this, and yet, death hurts us deeply. It's violent separation can be unbearable.
It is for this very reason, this separation from our loving Creator God, that Christ died, crushing the eternal sting of death, giving us the victory to live in this day. That's the victory - with Christ, there is no more separation, there is no more death for those who call on him as savior and friend.
So while our hearts catch up with our heads and catch up with our souls, we can cry out, stand up to our fears, and move on in our grief, because Jesus Christ won. He is our Victory!