Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I Corinthians 15:51-59
I love the way Paul’s excitement builds in this text. I can see him talking faster with each breath, waving his hands, standing up in the middle of a sentence. It reads like a speech on the eve of battle, Paul pacing in front of his men, stirring their souls.
Reminds me of Henry the V, the scene where Henry’s rousing his men to fight. He tells them they will never look back on this day with remorse, never regret their scars.
He ends the speech with these words:
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
I feel like this when Paul’s done with chapter 15. Like to have missed this battle, to have slept through it, would be the greatest regret of my life.