That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection of the dead.
Apart from the resurrection, Christianity makes absolutely no sense. The martyrs, smelling the grave from afar as a lover smells roses; the apostles such as Paul, longing to become like a crucified Palestinian peasant; the virgins, throwing away a life of human love and family; the Desert Fathers, living in caves and eating bugs and water; the saints who preferred to be roasted on griddles or to be starved at Auschwitz in place of some stranger—-all these would be foaming lunatics but for one central reality that unlocks all these mysterious actions like a master key: the resurrection of the dead. “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20). Paul saw the Risen Christ. Everything he did makes sense only in light of that overwhelming reality. Likewise, our lives only make sense in light of the Resurrection. Live in that light.