There is an interesting passage of Scripture in 1 Corinthians 15:29
1Co 15:29 Otherwise, what will those people do who are being baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are they being baptized for them?
It has often puzzled me, and I have wondered what this passage really means. I have heard there are cults that actually practice baptising people for their dead relatives and friends. While this seems whacky; it appears this is what the Apostle Paul is writing about.
Tonight I couldn’t find my normal Bible and so picked up my Interlinear Greek New Testament for my reading material as I went about doing some paper work in the bathroom… 😉 There I just opened it up and started to read from the beginning of chapter 15.
Suddenly I had an aha moment. The verse isn’t saying that people are being baptised for the dead at all. Paul is using a high level of hyperbole and sarcasm. He is continuing his theme of Christ’s resurrection. In 15:13 he makes the point that if Christ hasn’t truly been resurrected then we are fools for believing he did so.
His point in verse 29 is a continuation of his whole theme about the resurrection. And therefore says…hey if Christ did not raise to life after death… then when you are baptised you are being baptised into a dead christ and not the living Christ.
Like wow… puts a whole new meaning to the passage doesn’t it?