Hosea 13:14 (ESV) I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol; I shall redeem them from Death. O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
Right in the middle of some very hard words to the Northern Kingdom, the prophet, under the inspiring work of God by the Holy Spirit, breaks into this glorious promise of ransom from the power of death, the awful death that sin brings. The day you eat it, you will die. The wages of sin is death.
Ephraim has sinned. Ephraim will die, but God will not leave his people in death. He will redeem them from the power of death.
Paul, writing to rebuke and also comfort the church gone wild, Corinth, comforts them in chapter 15 when he reminds them that death will not have the final say. He preaches about the glorious hope of resurrection because our Lord and God, Jesus, was raised in power. He then tells them about that glorious day in which the Lord will Advent again and raise to life those who have passed on in the faith, and guess what Scripture he preaches that message from? Hosea 13:14, the one right up above.
1 Corinthians 15:50-55 (ESV) I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:n“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
How is God going to overcome the wages of sin? He’s going to send Jesus to die for sin, defeat sin, rise, and put on display in himself the prototype of who we will be and how it will take place, and he told us this in advance so we could know when it happened, and then what to expect when he finally and fully pulls it off for the whole people of God.
Advent. Jesus has come, and he is coming again to raise to life all those who have been redeemed by faith in him. He promised, and he will deliver.