“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day” (1Corinthians 15:3-4). Without the resurrection, says Paul, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1Corinthians 15:32). You only live once… if Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead.
But he was, and “he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve, then to more than five hundred brothers at one time” (1Corinthians 15:5-6), and the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything. “What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power” (1Corinthians 15:42-43). You live once, and then you live again, because “in Christ shall all be made alive” (1Corinthians 15:22), and the first life is only a shadow of things to come.
The movie is City Slickers. Billy Crystal plays Mitch, a man celebrating his 39th birthday and dealing (poorly) with a midlife crisis. Jack Palance plays Curly. He is older. “Do you know what the secret of life is?” Curly asks Mitch. Mitch shakes his head no. Curly holds up one finger. “One thing. Just one thing.”
“That’s great. But what’s the one thing?” asked Mitch.
“That’s what you’ve got to figure out.”
Paul figured it out.
Father God, the most important thing, the one thing out of everything, is You. To love You with all that I am. My heart, soul, mind, and strength. In doing this, I will, at the same time, love others as much or more than myself. Because that is what You did. In humility, You sacrificed Your Son for me. For each of us. For all of us.
God, grow Your love in me. May You be not the first of many, but rather my One and Only consuming passion.