The Apostle Paul wrote, "O death, where is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55). Anyone grieving the death of someone they love deeply will say that "sting" hardly begins to describe the pain. And Christmas often heightens this pain. Certain decorations recall hands we will never hold again. Gatherings make visible precious absences. Sweet voices now stilled echo in our memories as we sing or share stories.
But this is not a bad thing. Christmas is actually a very good time for grief. Because sorrow has a way of disbursing fantasy nonsense and pointing us to what the birth of Jesus was all about: death's destruction (1 Corinthians 15:26).
The sting Paul is talking about is not grief. He knows "sorrow upon sorrow" (Philippians 2:27). He is talking about something far worse: condemnation.
"The sting of death is sin" (1 Corinthians 15:56) because "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). And physical death hardly begins to describe this death. Like all of us, Paul would have preferred to not die physically (2 Corinthians 5:4). But he knew he would (2 Timothy 4:6). The death Paul spent his life trying to save people from was spiritual death.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]