1Co 15:54-57 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." (55) "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (56) The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I have posited before in this blog that I see the Epistle of Hebrews as the Rosetta Stone of the New Covenant. I am certain that it was written to Hebrew believers to help them with the transition of covenants we have been discussing in this series. If you look at Heb 9:8; “The Holy Spirit was making it clear that the way into the most holy place had not yet been disclosed while the first tabernacle was still standing.” Here we can clearly see that the first tabernacle, the temple was a stumbling block into seeing the true temple of God. Almost every version of the bible including the King James Version renders Hebrews 9:8 with just this wording. In fairness, the Young’s Literal Translation renders it *still has a standing.* That, is really difference without a distinction because when the temple was destroyed with *not one stone left upon another that was not unturned* (Jesus predictive prophecy), it also no longer had a standing. When it was gone it lost its standing.
Moving on with the correlation between death and the Old Covenant let’s turn to another passage in Hebrews. Hebrews chapter two is very similar to 1Corinthians 15:21-58. That is, the same concept is being discussed. First we’ll show the correlation between 1Co 15:54-57 with Hebrews 2:14-15. “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, (15) and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” Remember, the sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the Law. Yet, here we see the explanation of the victory. If you read Hebrews 2:6 through 2:18 there is a reference to everything being put under Jesus feet. This is similar to 1Corintians 15:25 “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” Who were Jesus enemies? The answer is that it was the unbelieving Jews that forced his crucifixion. They were put under his feet in 70AD at the destruction of the temple and the dispersion of the Jews. That simply put was the day of the Lord’s wrath.
Think about it; God came to tabernacle with them and they rejected and crucified him. How much more of an enemy can one have than to be rejected because of their interpretation of a book? Look at John 7:47-49 “The Pharisees answered them, "Have you also been deceived? (48) Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? (49) But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed." They reject God in the flesh because of their interpretation of the Torah. Here is a classic example of the letter killing. They were adhering to the letter of the Law and missed the Spirit in their midst.
It should be becoming increasingly obvious that when the temple was destroyed and Jerusalem fell that Jesus enemies were put under his feet. The last enemy was death and remember the sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the Law. The New Covenant, the new and better way was the *only* covenant in force from the destruction of the temple forward. And what was that you ask? “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:34d. )