"To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely." -- Jorge Luis Borges
HAD A FRUITFUL bible study session yesterday doing "Messianic Fulfillment - Part 3". As facilitator, it was truly gratifying to see people leave the room a little more joyfully. Good thing i attended the 2-day workshop faciliated by V. and the SABAT team a few weeks ago.
Many questions were also raised yesterday. One concerned certain comments made by Dr M. at her talk about a month ago. St Paul is apparently more "cowardly" than St Peter because the former chose to be crucified upside-down while the latter had chosen a Roman death. On deeper thought, I don't think either St Paul or St Peter chose to die in the first place. St Peter, when locked up and later given a chance to leave jail, simply did so (as documented in Acts). St Paul had merely asked to be tried in court as a Roman citizen. As a natural consequence, he could never be crucified physically. The manner of his death was NOT a choice.
"死有重如泰山，轻如鸿毛。" -- Chinese proverb
AM REMINDED of a certain story in Chinese history, where in the face of imminent danger to their beloved country, one patriot asked another, "Which is easier? To live or to die?" The other answered, "To die." The first patriot said, "I shall die then and you shall live."
In Philippians 1:21-25, Paul himself wrote: "For to me life is Christ, and death is gain. If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. And I do not know which I shall choose. I am caught between the two. I long to depart this life and be with Christ, (for) that is far better. Yet that I remain (in) the flesh is more necessary for your benefit. And this I know with confidence, that I shall remain and continue in the service of all of you for your progress and joy in the faith..."
Still, to die the way Jesus died? It's definitely far far far from easy. St Peter is truly admirable for having made that special "last request".