Richard was on an airplane eating his lunch when he felt something land in his hair. He rubbed his head, which caused the scorpion that had fallen from the overhead bin to fall onto his dinner plate. When he tried to shoo the scorpion, it stung him. The flight attendants caught the scorpion and flushed it down the toilet.
How many of you would choose to fly if you believed you would be stung by a scorpion? I bet there’s at least one situation in which all of us would.
Would you rather fly on an airplane and be stung by a scorpion or would you rather feel the sting of someone’s death?
Some of you know the answer because you’ve felt that sting recently. For others, it’s been a while, but your heart doesn’t hurt any less despite the time. For some, the pain is sporadic; it doesn’t hurt as much when you distract yourself with other things. But then suddenly you’re reminded of that person and the sting is painful. It’s a pain that stings the hearts of every age and every race. And it’s a pain that we face head-on on Easter morning.
Jesus had died too. His friends and family had been stung by death very deeply. But on the third day, Jesus rose. He had been stung by death but not defeated by it. This is why the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:55: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
Death doesn’t get the final say in a person’s life. The risen Jesus does.