He Took the Stinger Out
The Gospel of John records a most important Biblical, epic event: “The Triumphal Entry.” John tells us that “much people … took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet him, and cried Hosanna: blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13). Those hosannas were exclamations of excitement directed to Jesus, for Him to be their King, to “Save Now” - from the oppression of Roman rule. Almost hidden in the context, but to the eye of spiritual interest, there is seen another triumphal entry later to be visualized, a triumph over death and the grave. “The people therefore that were with him (were those present) when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, (they) bare record” (v. 17). They would later testify of that what Jesus did for Lazarus, He would do for them. So, there were present a people that would later recall, bearing record of this marvelous event. Scripture brought it all together for them. Old Testament prophecy of “thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt” were “things (they) understood not … but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered” (vs. 15-16); it was a spiritual kingdom that was being presented by the Christ, offering Himself as the prophesied Messiah. The parade route of those who wanted only a physical King, rejected His spiritual kingship. Those who would accept His spiritual rule would be subjects of His kingdom, all by repentant faith in Him - that was His message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Therein is the triumphant entry of Christ bringing a “Save Now” hosanna into the hearts of man. Remember that old gospel hymn “Victory in Jesus!” The inspired Word was the inspiration in the “heart-full-of-song author” E.M. Bartlett. Here is the Scripture that can bring that song to life: “But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Yes, victory, over sin and its consequence -death. “As it is written, death is swallowed up in victory” (v. 54). The apostle Paul reveals the Scriptural reason for that triumphant entry chant over death and the grave: “Oh death, where is thy sting?” (v. 55). The answer to that question is found in the very fact that Jesus took the stinger out of death. “The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law” (v. 56). His perfect righteous life fulfilled the laws demands, and “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21). His triumphal entry into our lives came to us in the day when He “saves now” from our sin and death - Hosanna to the Christ. “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57). He is the Victor and He transports us to that place of victory, offering us a triumphant entry into His kingdom, all made available to us by His power of conquest of death and sin. He took the stinger out of death and the grave with the power of His sacrifice on the cross - for you.