that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (ESV)
When my wife was a little girl she loved watching the Donny and Marie show. She wore a Marie Osmond costume for Halloween. She had her hair done to look like Marie Osmond. When you have a hero you want to be just like them. Imitation is a high form of flattery. In a much grander scale, the Apostle Paul wanted to be like his Savior, Jesus Christ.
For the Apostle Paul, Jesus was more than a theological truth. Jesus was not even just the means by which he was saved from his sins. Jesus was his life! He wanted to know him. He wanted to be like him. The things that Jesus was passionate about were the things that Paul wanted to be passionate about. Jesus defied death and rose from the dead. Paul desires to do the same thing.
Here in this verse Paul says that by any means possible he desires to attain the resurrection from the dead. Just like his Savior. Paul knows that it is very likely that the means by which he will attain that resurrection could also be like his Savior. Paul would not have been surprised if he were crucified. Many of the other apostles were killed in brutal, gruesome ways.
Do you love the Savior? Do you want to be like him? Do you want to know him? You should set a priority in your life to emulate the Savior in every way possible. He loved those who were undeserving of love. You should do the same. He declared the truth of the Gospel. So should you. He was willing to lay down his life. You are called to lay your life down also.
Paul said "by any means." That means was a Roman executioner. He was beheaded. Yet, just like the Savior, he attained resurrection from the dead. So can you. Know Christ. Know resurrection.
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