My wife and I were on holiday near Sorrento; we were out on a day trip and enjoying beautiful views of the Italian coastline. As I moved forward to get a better perspective, I placed my hand on a barrier in front of me. Suddenly I felt a sharp and painful sting – I had put my hand down on a bee! Then I noticed the bee sting protruding from my palm and, thinking quickly, I carefully pulled the sting out of my hand. In a few short minutes all the swelling and pain had completely subsided, there was no lasting damage and our day was not spoiled.
Then I had one of those ‘light bulb moments’. As I thought about what had just happened, I remembered some words from an old hymn: “Death has lost its sting”. There is no question that death does hurt – but, for those who trust in Christ, it cannot cause any long-term harm. This Easter time we remember that, because Jesus rose from the dead, the sting of death has been withdrawn; death has lost its power to destroy. Death can separate us from the physical body but the pain is only temporary, death can never separate us from God’s love. The sting of death has gone.
“Having drawn the sting of all the powers ranged against us, he exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in his final glorious triumphant act.” Colossians 2 vs 15 (JB Phillips).
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? ...Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" 1 Corinthians 15 vs 55 & 57 (CSB).