The last enemy - Death, shall be destroyed; καταργειται, shall be counter-worked, subverted, and finally overturned. But death cannot be destroyed by there being simply no farther death; death can only be destroyed and annihilated by a general resurrection; if there be no general resurrection, it is most evident that death will still retain his empire. Therefore, the fact that death shall be destroyed assures the fact that there shall be a general resurrection; and this is a proof, also, that after the resurrection there shall be no more death.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death - The other foes of God should be subdued “before” the final resurrection. The enmity of the human heart should be subdued by the triumphs of the gospel. The scepter of Satan should be broken and wrested from him. The false systems of religion that had tyrannized over people should be destroyed. The gospel should have spread everywhere, and the world be converted to God. And nothing should remain but to “subdue” or destroy death, and that would be by the resurrection. It would be:
(1) because the resurrection would be a triumph over death, showing that there was one of greater power, and that the sceptre would be wrested from the hands of death.
(2) because death would cease to reign. No more would ever die. All that should be raised up would live forever; and the effects of sin and rebellion in this world would be thus forever ended, and the kingdom of God restored. Death is here personified as a tyrant, exercising despotic power over the human race; and “he” is to be subdued.