For forty days the giant taunted and provoked them. His voice was a loud and awful bellow that shattered their once joyful hearts piece by piece. The sight of him was terrifying. His ugly scowl and imposing figure caused even the most noble men to shrink and cry out in despair. Compared to him, they were nothing. His multitude of victims were well-known. He was undefeated – and calling them out. None wanted to face him. The giant’s physical strength brought to mind the weakness of their wills.
But there was hope, if only a glimmer. Although he had slain many before, the giant now asked for a representative – one who could decide the fate of them all. He laughed, knowing that this was the cruelest of devices. Indeed, what could be worse than false hope, crushed so definitively? That would be the end of them. The giant would win.
Until out stepped a shepherd with the heart of a king.
His appearance was hardly worth noting. Clearly a poor man, the shepherd carried with him only those items that he came with from the field. His face was dirty and worn, but his eyes were clear and confident. Many doubted him and shouted with anger, expressing their desire for a more polished champion. Ignoring their calls, the shepherd walked slowly towards the giant. He knew that he was the only one who could do it. It was for this reason that he had come so far.
Seeing the small frame of the man who approached him, the giant let out a deep and cringeworthy laugh, exposing those devilish emotions that characterized him. Yet, there was something else in that laugh as well – something that surprised even the giant when he heard. Fear. It was small, and none could detect it – except the one who stood across from him, staring into his soul. Perhaps it was this fear that spurred the giant into action. In an instant, he gave a shout and ran at his opponent full speed. His trusty sword was in hand – the same sword that had made quick work of all the others.
From the distance, those who observed this encounter flinched. The shepherd was unprepared. He was standing still, looking into a pack slung along his shoulder. Did he not see the giant approaching? What was he doing? Soon, the shepherd was swallowed by the giant’s shadow, a long, looming menace stretched out across the field. The men could no longer see, but they did not need to. They already knew that their representative had lost. His fight was unheroic, and ended the same way as all others who had faced the giant.
But then, in an instant, the shadow disappeared. The giant’s body, which had been blocking the sun behind him, was now lying prostrate on the ground. The shepherd, shrouded in the light of day, quickly grabbed the giant’s own weapon and killed him with it, cutting off his head. He then rested his right foot in a dignified position atop the large motionless torso, reduced now to nothing more than a mere footstool.
The observers, paralyzed by this sight, quickly regained their senses and approached the victor. As they came near, the shepherd held the giant’s head high for all to see. It had been crushed – the forehead bent and broken. The men were unsure what had happened, but they could not deny the result. The giant was defeated. His weapon – the sword once pointed in their direction – had been turned against him.
The men bowed low to the one who stood before them. Many cried tears of joy. Who was this man who defied the giant? Who was this man who could do what they could not? Was he really a shepherd?
Yes – but he was their shepherd. He was their champion. He was their King.
His name was Jesus…
…And the head of Death was in his hand.
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
– 1 Corinthians 15:55
His weapon – the sword once pointed in their direction – had been turned against him.