“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #186
“And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die” (1 Cor. 15:30–32).
Paul then advances another argument for the resurrection of Jesus. The apostles were witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus, and they understood that resurrection to be a guarantee of their own resurrection. It would therefore make no sense for them to establish a fraudulent faith that did nothing but jeopardize their health and safety if they knew that the dead were not raised.
By putting this argument forward, Paul is confirming a standard argument for the resurrection of Jesus, which is the fearlessness of the apostles—in contrast to their behavior prior to the crucifixion—in proclaiming that resurrection. The apostles had all seen the resurrected Jesus, and their subsequent behavior makes no sense unless they had seen the resurrected Jesus.
Paul is in danger every hour. Every knock on the door could be a raid. Paul avows, with his right hand on his pride in the Corinthians, that he dies every day. This is the meaning of taking up your cross daily, and following Jesus. Why would Paul have fought the way he did at Ephesus if the dead are not raised. He is very blunt about it. If there is no resurrection, then the only sensible option is to party on the lip of the abyss. In the Pauline logic, it is either Christ or cocaine.