1Co 15:28-31 “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 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.”
Paul has told us that the last enemy to be destroyed is death. It is one thing for an enemy to be overcome. Jesus, in His resurrection has overcome death. However, the day is yet to come for its absolute destruction seeing that we still die. Yet, we have this assurance that death shall be destroyed.
When all things are brought into obedience to the Son, the Son shall also be obedient unto God. In this Paul recognizes the truth that Jesus declared when He said He did nothing of Himself (Joh 5:19, 30). He is furthering recognizing that we will at that time no longer need a Mediator (1Ti 2:5). We will be fully reconciled unto the totality of God. God will be all in all.
Paul again turns to his declaration of the resurrection. The scripture tells us that baptism is in the similitude of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Rom 6:4, Col 2:12). We are baptized in His name. This was the sense in which Paul wrote about being baptized for (in the name of) the dead. If we are baptized in the name of Jesus and Jesus is not resurrected, then why are we being baptized?
If we are truly disciples of Christ, then our walk is based not only on His death and burial, but His resurrection. We are still today despised by the world for our faith in Jesus Christ. Paul posed the question to the church at Corinth “Why am I risking my life to preach this gospel, if Jesus is not risen from the dead?” Why are we, today, willing to risk being marginalized at the least and killed at the worst, if Jesus is not alive?
Paul said he protested by our rejoicing. The Greek word translated as “protest” here does not mean to demonstrate in opposition to something. Instead, the word used here was similar to an affirmation of certainty. The word carries the idea “as sure as.” We have all heard people say something similar to “As sure as I’m breathing” some thing or the other is going to take place.
In their common rejoicing in Christ Jesus the Lord, Paul had all the proof he needed of the resurrection. When we are blessed to sing the songs of Zion or sit under the preaching of the gospel, we sometimes feel a swelling of love and joy (or sometimes conviction) in our hearts. This rejoicing is sure evidence that Jesus is alive. If He were still in the tomb, we could experience only sadness when we are made to think of Him.
However, on that third day, He who laid down His life took it up again! He is alive and alive forever more. He lives in us and rules and reigns in our hearts. As sure as we are able to rejoice in Him, He is alive! Because He lives, we are willing to stand in jeopardy every hour of every day to share this blessed hope with His children.
May we always rejoice in our living Savior and King!