Day Three: Fighting Wild Beasts

1 Corinthians 15:30-34 (NIV)
30And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 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.”

33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

“We’re all scared. You hid in that ditch because you think there’s still hope. But Blithe, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier’s supposed to function.” – Capt. Ronald Speirs [HBO’s Band of Brothers]

“To be without hope in the resurrection makes life in the present a constant round of nothing.” [Gordon Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, NICNT]

“Paul suggests that their skepticism has led them to act like the frenzied inhabitants of Jerusalem who faced siege and annihilation at the hands of the Assyrians (Isaiah 22:12-24): instead of facing their fate with repentance and weeping, they decided to ‘party like there was no tomorrow,’ as the colloquial English expression has it.” [Richard Hays, First Corinthians: Interpretation]

The heat of competition, the intensity of battle, the “moment” – all of these reveal the mental fortitude and preparedness of the athlete, soldier and performer. In the Christian life, we face death every day in imitation of Christ in discipleship. In these life and death moments, our attitude about eternal bodily resurrection with Jesus reveals our hearts. Without an eternal hope of the redemption of our bodies, life is simple an absurd venture with no real hope, a time to “party like there’s no tomorrow!” But if we understand the truth that God eternally loves our whole person, including our physical bodies that he has created for us, we live with the courage to fight even “wild beasts” (NRSV) as we die every day.

With this attitude and heart, let’s close in praying for clearer hope and deeper knowledge of the Lord as we face our battles today, and in singing, “Yours (Glory & Praise)” (click here).