1 Corinthians 15:32 (NIV) – If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
NT Wright describes it like this, “The point [Paul’s] making is that if he went through all that [not actually fighting wild beasts, but what he did suffer in facing opposition/persecution] in order simply to die, with no hope of resurrection, he would be just like those gladiators, eating, drinking, and making merry the night before the big show, knowing that this was the end.”
If Christ has not been raised from the dead, our lives’ meaning would simply be “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” It is interesting to note how real this must feel for us in light of what is happening in the world today. However, as Paul and the cloud of witnesses that have gone before show us, we don’t live by mere human hopes, for our hope is in Christ and His resurrection. Hence, we always live in hope, in worship, in the building of His church, and in the mission of God.
Lord Jesus, may we live in your resurrection power and reality. May there be an awakening of love for you and for one another, for praise and worship to spontaneously arise from our hearts and lips, for our hearts to be filled with compassion for the broken. May your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name. Amen.