I was reciting the chapter today and stopped short.
"even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering..."
I've heard it many times...but today something more...drink offering upon WHAT?
the altar? no, although that's what I'd always been taught, but it's really, really obvious.
Memorizing the whole book has taught me a lot about the "therefores." Paul adds on to the add-ons, building on the previous part to make a point.
I had been taught that Paul was referring to becoming a martyr, being tortured and burned for the gospel.
But *offerings* are made by the religious adherents *to* God. If somebody else sacrifices *you*, it's hardly your offering!
the "drink offering" was not poured on the altar. It was poured on the sacrifice!
Throughout this letter, Paul has been referring to the fact that he is currently imprisoned for the gospel, and he has been urging the Philippians to act out their faith... The people that he is writing to are sacrificing themselves for the faith of the gospel.
Jews would have been familiar with the offering system. The animal sacrifice was made, and burned - a symbol looking forward to Jesus' final sacrifice. Then, a specific amount of wine (the drink offering) was poured over the burning meat, symbolizing the blood of Christ. (This is important:) the drink offering was only offered to God after His people entered into their promised land.
Paul knew that he would be killed for his faith; so put the drink offering in the context of that.
His beloved students were given Christ as an example who was obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross...therefore, his students should also obey. As their obedience becomes their sacrifice Paul himself would be the drink offering adorning that sacrifice.
The drink offering was not poured on the altar.
for me to live is Christ and to die is gain...my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better...
Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering up the sacrificial offering of your faith..."
You also should be glad and rejoice with me...
Paul was ready to die. As his students laid their faith down, Paul's life would be the libation that adorned their faith. And he was glad.
And they should rejoice with him.