Paul regarded death with holy indifference. For many people, death is the greatest loss of all, but for Paul death was a promotion. Then he would see what he now believed. And so he declares in verse 21: “For me to love is Christ and to die is gain.” Christ was the purpose, power, and passion of Paul’s life.
This declaration poses a test for us:
“For me to live is ______________; to die is ______________.”
We fill in the blanks…
“For me to live is money--to die is to leave it all behind.”
“For me to live is popularity and prestige--to die is to be forgotten.”
“For me to live is pleasure--to die is the worst possible end of the party.”
“For me to live is power--to die is to lose it all.”
“For me to live is everything--to die is to cease to exist.”
Do we see death as our enemy, or as a gift? It's not easy to share Paul's ambivalence; let's at least try for his faith.