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I would say that the imagery of death being swallowed referred to the total and complete manner in which Christ's victory over death through His resurrection did away with the eternal consequences of death (separation from God) that had existed prior to that time for humans. Instead, humans could now share in Christ's victory by placing their faith in His sinless life, atoning death, and resurrection, rather than in their own imperfect works or righteousness, for reconciliation to God and the attainment of eternal life, which had previously been unattainable due the universality of human sin. Following Christ's resurrection, death's finality had been abolished as surely as an object in the mouth disappears after being consumed or swallowed.
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