This song made me cry this week. My husband's friend came to our church for the first time. He was raised Catholic. He has been studying the Bible and talking to Bob a lot during the past couple of years and is realizing that Christianity is not about sacraments and rules and what ifs, but about how Christ died for us.
I became choked up when we got to the words, "O death, where is your sting? O hell, where is your victory?" I thought of purgatory. I remembered praying for souls who were not yet quite good enough to get to heaven.
Purgatory = Hell's victory
But Jesus conquered death when He died on that cross, in our place, and rose three days later.
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:56-57It doesn't matter if we are "good enough," because no one is.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24There is absolutely nothing, NOTHING, not a thing, we can do to save ourselves from God's wrath.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9When you are in a religion that teaches that you can go to heaven when you have earned your way, it is called works-based. You do the work and then you get the reward of Heaven. There is guilt involved. You can only hope that one day you might be looked upon with pity by a loving God who says, "Okay, I guess you were pretty good most of the time."
When you are a Christian, it is faith-based. You realize that Jesus already did the work. Yes, God is loving. But He is Holy. He is perfect. And because He is perfect and Holy, He cannot allow sin to be near Him. And we ALL sin. Have you ever lied? Even a little white lie to make someone feel good about their bad hairdo is still a lie. It is still a sin. Have you ever committed adultery? Jesus said,"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery;' but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart." Adultery is a sin. This is why Jesus died. He took God's wrath on Himself. He made a way for us to be close to God. He made it so that we can be Holy. Not because of anything that we have done, but in spite of it.
Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us