I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be your plagues; O grave…
I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O Death, I will be thy plagues; O Grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. Delitzsch translates this, "Out of the hand of hell will I redeem them; from death will I set them free. Where are thy plagues, O Death? Where thy destruction, O Hell? Repentance is his idea from mine eyes." Primarily, these words apply to God's restoration of Israel from Assyria - partially, and in times yet future, fully, from all the lands of their present long-continued dispersion and political death. But Paul's reference to it (1 Corinthians 15:23) authorizes us to give it a wider application; and we may regard it as referring to death and Christ.
I. Here is the great CONQUEROR, called the "death and the grave." What a conqueror is Death!
1. Heartless, dead to all appeals.
2. Resistless. Bulwarks, battalions, castles, are nothing before him.
3. Universal, his eyes fastened on the world. Young, old, rich, poor, he has marked them all as victims.
4. Ever active. He does not pause a moment. Year after year, month after month, day after day, minute after minute, he works without a pause. Thousands fall before him every hour. This is the conqueror keeping the world in awe, filling our houses with mourning, our streets with funereal processions, our cemeteries with the dead.
II. Here is the great conqueror of the world CONQUERED. "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death I will be thy plagues, I will be thy destruction." I. Who? "I am the Resurrection and the Life: whoso believeth in me shall never die." How has he conquered Death? Not by weakening his power or arresting his progress, for he is as mighty and active as ever, but by stripping him of his terror. Mentally he overcomes him, swallows him up. He fills the souls of his people with such love to the infinite Father, such interest in the spiritual universe, such desire for a higher life, that they say, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." A few weeks hence, and spring will come forth as a messenger from the great fountain of life, and look abroad over the earth in winter desolation under the icy reign of death; and will say to every withered plant and buried germ, "I will ransom thee from the power of the grave." This Christ says to all dead souls.
"It is not death, to die;
To leave this weary road,
And 'midst the brotherhood on high
To be at home with God.
"It is not death, to close
The eye long dimmed by tears,
And wake in glorious repose
To spend eternal years.
"It is not death, to bear
The wrench that sets us free
From dungeon-chain, to breathe the air
Of boundless liberty.
"It is not death, to fling
Aside this sinful dust,
And rise on strong, exulting wing
To live among the just.
"Jesus thou Prince of life,
Thy chosen cannot die;
Like thee, they conquer in the strife,
To reign with thee on high." D.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.