To “swallow up” is a curiously vivid phrase.
- Aaron’s staff-turned-serpent “swallowed up” the staffs of Pharaoh’s sorcerers in Exodus 7.
- Korah and his rebellious compatriots were “swallowed up” by the earth in Numbers 16.
- David affirmed that those who hate the LORD would be “swallowed up” in his wrath in Psalm 21.
- David prayed, “Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up” (Psa 69:15).
- Israel was said to have been “swallowed up” by Assyria in Hosea 8.
- The LORD appointed a great fish “to swallow up” Jonah in Jonah 1.
To be “swallowed up” is to be consumed, enveloped, or assimilated. In most contexts it’s a terrifying thought…all of which makes 2 Corinthians 5:4 so incredible.
For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
In and through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, we can know that the day is coming when death–even death–will be “swallowed up” in victory (1 Cor 15:54).
By the ultimate victory of Jesus, victory has been made available to us (1 Cor 15:55-57). Do you want it? Realize that your eternal destiny will depend upon what “swallowed you up” during your time on this earth.
This sermon was delivered on September 20, 2015.