This is little story told at a funeral recently. It has a play on words
about a "sting" which is vivid in its application:
Once a boy and his father were driving along the road in the family car,
when a bee flew in the window. The boy got very upset when he saw the bee
buzzing around his head, and he began throwing his arms around madly,
almost causing an accident. Maybe you think he was a coward, but that boy
was a special case. You see he was allergic to bee stings! The doctors had
told him that if he ever got stung by a bee again he would die of the
sting! So naturally enough the boy was very frightened of the bee. The
father tried to brush it out of the car window, but couldn't make it go
out. So he quickly grabbed the bee! But it escaped, and buzzed around
the boy's head again making him scream with terror this time.
Well, the bee was still in the car, but the father pulled over to the edge
of the road and said to the boy, "It is OK, you are all right." Then he
opened his hand, and there sticking into his palm the boy could see the
bee sting! His father had allowed the bee to sting himself! He had taken
the sting out of the danger. There was no danger about the bee any more.
The pastor told that story to show us all that Jesus Christ has taken the
"sting" out of death itself. He let death "sting" Him instead of ourselves,
so we could live forever and never die. How wonderful. The Bible tells us
about that "sting" being taken out of death by Jesus Christ:
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of
death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God,
which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
(I Corinthians 15:55-57)
The sting of death is sin - and the strength of sin is the law. Sin makes
us unable to face a Holy God after we die. We cannot keep God's Law. But
Jesus Christ has fixed that for us, He has given believers the "victory"
or made us winners over death. Praise God, we will never really die when
we trust in Jesus as our Lord.