Reading Through The Bible in 2011, Part 52
What I Read Today: 1 Corinthians 15-16.
What Stood Out About What I Read: 1 Corinthians 15: 12-20, “Now if Christ is being preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty. Also, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified against God that he raised Christ from the dead, when in reality he did not raise him, if indeed the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins. Furthermore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone.
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
Random Thoughts About What I Read:
Like most of you, I really enjoyed the movie Dead Poets Society. You know, the one with Robin Williams playing Mr. Keating who gets a lot of private boarding school teenagers to appreciate poetry?
Well, kinda. He actually is trying to teach them about life more than poetry. Remember the initial scene where these boys who were used to a strict & ordered teaching style in their college prep school? Mr. Keating whistles as he takes them outside the classroom and holds his class outside the school trophy case. In it there were pictures of the long history of excellence at the school, including members of the various successful teams from long ago.
Mr. Keating tells the boys about how the students in the pictures were once just like them, with the world in front of them and all the excitement and possibilities that were in front of them.
But now those guys in the pictures are dead.
“Food for worms” is how I think Mr. Keating put it.
“Pushing up daffodils” was another.
And the lesson that day for the boys was Carpe Deim. Right? Seize the day. Make the most of this life because one day you will be food for worms like them. You’ll be pushing up daffodils, too. In fact, Mr. Keating told them that if the boys in those photos could speak, they’d whisper to them to do that very thing:
Seize the day.
It all sounds wonderful and inspiring and I do like the sentiment behind it. Live life to the fullest.
But, see, here’s where anyone who is really thinking will catch the reality that it’s still a sad message.
Let me explain.
Let’s say that these boys do, indeed, seize the day. Let’s say they string together a whole bunch of seized days. Let’s say they string together a long, healthy life of seized days.
Let’s say they take full advantage of the education they’re given and truly discover beauty and meaning in every single one of their courses and topics and majors. Let’s say they drink the finest wines and eat the best foods. Let’s say they walk on the most beautiful beaches in the world and explore the best mountaintops. Let’s say they love their jobs and find meaning in that. Let’s say that they explore the wonders of the most beautiful women in the world and indulge that, and even in that process they find their soul mate, marry them and have the most intimate marriage emotionally & physically & intellectually. Let’s say they appreciate the wonder of their children. Let’s say they have money to do whatever they want. Let’s say it’s a life full of the truest possible seizing the days.
At the end of it, well, they’re still food for worms.
At the end of it, well, they’re still pushing up daisies.
At the end of it, well, all you’ve got is 24,000 or so seized days.
But what if…
…the person that undeniably walked the earth in the Middle East in the first century…
…the one that was crucified in the first half of that century for the crime of claiming to be a king, or King, depending on if you were Roman or Jewish…
…the one who died, really died, in real-time human history…
…really did rise from the dead?
It would be the most significant occurrence in all of human history that has an awful lot of significant occurrences, right? Because if it did happen, well, that means that Jesus Christ is who He says He is/was and that He is alive now and can live an abundant life through us (talk about seizing days!) and is coming back to do what He said He was going to do (as well as what the Jewish Scriptures say He is going to do).
If he didn’t rise from the dead…
…it says right there: We (Christians) should be the most pitied people on the planet.
It’s an all-or-nothing deal, man. And that’s a big chasm in-between. We’re either supposed to be seizing days to a degree the world has never seen because our King is coming back to seize The Day and we want everyone to fall in love with Him like we have…
…we’re the most pitiful folks to ever walk the earth.
And I’m sure the resurrection of Jesus Christ took place on a certain date in history in the first half of that first century.
So, yes, I think because our King is alive and lives through us, we should be all about living the abundant life He gives before a watching world. It should be full of abundance and whatever that might look like. My suspicion is that might involve a great wine or two along the way, and certainly Blue Bell ice cream…but past that we’ll have to individually assert what that looks like. By all means, SEIZE THE FREAKING DAYS so a watching world will want to be a part of what we are, who we are, and Who we follow.
And if that resurrection did indeed take place, my suspicion is that those boys in those photographs Mr. Keating highlighted to his class are involved in something a great deal more horrifying than being…
food for worms…
or far more gruesome than pushing up daffodils.
In fact, if my theology is correct, it involves a great deal of agony and asking for a drop of water on their very tongue.
Because, if I’m wrong, well, pity me for all the days I’m not seizing by your definition of seizing.
…if I’m right…
…that changes everything.
(Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 1-2:4)