For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians of his experiences with and for the Lord. It was for their encouragement and the refreshment of their joy in the Lord. Today, too, the solution for all problems and differences lies in directing hearts towards Christ.
In the first chapter Paul presents Christ as the content of his life. His words are particularly valuable through the fact that Paul wrote them from prison in Rome while awaiting the emperor’s verdict on his case. This could be either liberation or the death sentence, life or death. He considered both possibilities.
“For to me, to live is Christ.” In other words, thinking of freedom and a continuation of his service he saw only Christ before him, a life filled with Christ, guided by Christ, Christ being his objective.He neither wished for nor needed anything else. There was nothing better for him than His glorious Person, to whom he devoted his whole life.
Death was consequently gain to him. The apostle was thinking about leaving this earth to pass on to the life beyond. He had the “desire to depart and be with Christ” (v.23). For a believer, dying means being brought to paradise, into the presence of our beloved Lord. If we consider things in this light, can there be anything better than a life whose content is Christ, at the end of which we shall be with Him, the Lord who died for us?
Image: By Attributed to Lucas van Leyden – ecatalogue.art.yale.edu : Home : Info : Pic, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9849321