Read: 1 Corinthians 15:30-38
Towards the end of the 4th century CE, Christians were no longer fed to the lions for the entertainment of Roman citizens. But the games involving death did not stop. They continued until one man named Telemachus boldly jumped out of the crowd to keep two gladiators from killing each other. He was a desert monk, and he had come to Rome for the holidays. He was unable to bear the gory nature of this kind of pastime. According to the 5th century bishop and church historian Theodoret, Telemachus cried out for the violence to stop but the crowd stoned him to death. But the Emperor Honorius heard about his brave act and ordered an end to the games.
Some may question Telemachus. Was his action the only way of protesting against such a blood sport? The apostle Paul asked a similar question: “Why do we stand in jeopardy every hour?” (1 Cor. 15:30). He also describes in 2 Cor. 11:22-33 the hardships he suffered for the cause of Christ, many of which could have killed him. Was it all worth it?
The chapter for today’s passage is a key passage that defends the truth of Jesus’ resurrection and the believer’s hope of a future resurrection, after which we will live with Christ forever. Other accounts of people who were raised from the dead include the widow’s son in Zarephath (1 Kings 17), Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5), a widow’s son (Luke 7), and Lazarus (John 11). But in those instances, those raised from the dead later died a natural death due to natural reasons. But the believer’s resurrection in the future assures him/her the eternal life with Christ forever.
The apostle Paul rightly understood that trading things that will soon come to an end for honour that will last forever is a good investment. In the resurrection, a life that has been lived for Christ and others is seed for an eternity we will never regret. The famous missionary and martyr, Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Let us not trade away eternal values for temporary earthly convenience and comfort. Now is the time to invest in eternity.