And as for us – why would we run the risk of danger every hour? My friends, I face death every day! The pride I have in you, in our life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord, makes me declare this. If I have, as it were, fought ‘wild beasts’ here in Ephesus simply from human motives, what have I gained? But if the dead are not raised to life, then, as the saying goes, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die’. (verses 30-32)
What fools we would be, as Christians, if there were no resurrection from the dead. All the risks we take, all the ridicule we cope with, all the dangers we confront. All for nothing. No, less than nothing; all for hurt and sorrow.
The predators we face are a little different from those Paul faced, but they are real none the less. We fight drug pushers and barons for the lives of our kids. We confront governments when we believe their actions are not in the best interests of people without power to stand up for themselves. We try to combat greed and selfishness so that all people may have dignity and a decent standard of living. We risk being ridiculed by friends, workmates and associates who see no point to the ‘fairytales’ we claim are true.
What fools we would be if it were all for no purpose. But, thank God, we do not strive for nothing. We strive for the eternal salvation of people who, like us, Jesus not only died for but was raised from death for as well. There is a resurrection, there is a purpose. God guarantees it.
Thank you, God, for the certainty we can have that, in raising Jesus, you have guaranteed for us eternal life with you. Amen.
by Bob Turnbull, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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