1 Corinthians 15:29-32
Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
The truth of the resurrection is central to our faith as believers in Christ. Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins, but He rose again from that tomb. He rose in power. He rose in victory. And that fact has to be accepted for everything else to make sense and work out how God says it will. If we don’t believe in that and live our lives with an “eat, drink, and be merry” mindset, we’ll have the best of this life, but we’ll miss out on something much greater.
Beyond our belief in Christ’s resurrection, it is also important to believe in the new life that He offers to us personally. If there is nothing more for us beyond this life, why even bother continuing the church, continuing the work of making Christ known and making new disciples after others have passed on? If death is truly the end, then all of that is in vain and nothing else matters than to live life to the fullest without regard for God. If there is no life after death, the efforts of the church aren’t really going to matter.
But Paul understood the truth, and that’s why he was willing to go the lengths that he went to. That’s why he was willing to suffer in all the ways that he suffered. That’s why he was tireless in his efforts to proclaim the Gospel truth. And that’s why he chose to die daily, to lay down his life for a cause that was bigger than him, to let all that he was be replaced by the life of Christ in him. He knew there was something so much more to live for than the pleasures of this life.
As hard as it may be to believe, there is such a thing as eternity. There is a God who has no beginning and no end. And that God created us to live on after what seems like such a permanent end from our perspective. The question then becomes whether we accept the truth, accept His life, or be faced with an eternal death. Christ’s death was not in vain. The work of His church is not pointless. The remainder of our days here are not worthless, and it’s all because what was dead can truly live again through the power of Jesus Christ.