Sir Walter Raleigh’s closing words in his work, History of the World, clearly portray what seems to be death’s victory over men:
It is therefore death alone that can make any man suddenly know himself. Death tells the proud and insolent that they are but subjects, and humbles them in an instant. He makes them cry, complain, and repent. Yes, even to hate their forepasssed happiness. He takes the bank account of the rich, and proves him a beggar–which has interest in nothing but the dirt which fills his mouth. He holds the glass before the eyes of the most beautiful and makes them see therein their deformity and rottenness; and they acknowledge it. O eloquent, just and mighty death whom none can advise, thou has persuaded. What none hast dared, thou has done. And whom all the world hath flattered, thou has cast out of the world and despised.
Without the resurrection, Raleigh would be exactly right in his stark depiction of death. But as our text today tells us, Christ has the final say over death. He has removed death’s sting and taken away its victory. Praise be to God Our Savior who has defeated death and given us eternal life in Him!!!