A Victory Feast

Bible:

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 25:6-8 ESV

For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

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. I Corinthians 15:52b-57 ESV

Reflection:

In an old story there is a champion named Beowulf who became a hero to the Danes by fighting and killing a man-eating monster named Grendel. After Beowulf killed this enemy who had been attacking the Hall of Heorot, this hall once again became a place of joy and celebration. The Danes gathered for a great victory feast to celebrate Beowulf’s victory. The Danish king gave Beowulf many gifts and proclaimed that Beowulf was now his son. Everyone was happy that the monster who had been attacking them and causing them so much trouble had been defeated.

The prophet Isaiah talked about another victory celebration, one that wouldn’t be held at the Hall of Heorot, but instead on the mountain of the Lord. God himself would provide the victory feast of the best food and wine, and all people from all over the world would be invited to celebrate. The Lord would celebrate his own victory over the greatest enemy of all–death. Isaiah describes death as a veil that covers all people everywhere, but God would remove this veil by swallowing up death forever. He would wipe away the tears of everyone who mourns the death of people they love. The victory celebration on the mountain of the Lord would be the greatest celebration of the greatest victory of all.

God won this victory over death through his Son, Jesus. Jesus died on the cross to defeat sin and death, and he rose again from the dead and won the victory over death and all the forces of evil. Because of what Jesus did, we know that death isn’t the end for us. When we die, we will enter God’s heavenly kingdom, and on the last day God will raise our dead bodies up and give them a new life that will go on forever. We are sad when people we love die, but for everyone who believes in Jesus death isn’t the end. We can know the comfort that we will see our loved ones again in the new world that will never end, where the Lord wipes away all our tears and there is no more death.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for defeating death and promising us life in your kingdom forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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