Holy Week and Resurrection Day will soon be here – the most important week and day for every Christian.
Maybe you have celebrated Resurrection Day (Easter) all of your life but have you ever stopped to ask, “what’s so important about the resurrection of Jesus Christ?”
I know, the question may seem a bit silly but, again, have you ever asked yourself that question?
Obviously, the resurrection has nothing to do with chocolate rabbits (I like the marshmallow ones), colored eggs or new Sunday outfits. There’s nothing wrong with those things, but they certainly do not begin to explain the importance of Jesus rising bodily from the grave and exiting, alive, from the tomb.
One essential aspect of Jesus’ resurrection is the promise of the Christian’s resurrection from physical death. The annual Sunrise Service in the cemetery celebrates that promise. Every funeral service where 1 Corinthians 15 and other relevant scriptures are read, points to the wonderful promise that a Christian’s physical death is not the end.
But there’s more.
In Philippians 3:10 Paul writes, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”
This verse has always fascinated me. I’ve always had the suspicion that in that statement, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,” there is a relatively untapped, barely understood resource that speaks to my life for today. After all, Paul was speaking in the present tense when he wrote, “that I may know.”
My paraphrase of Philippians 3:10 would read like this: “that I may understand and become consciously aware of Him and the power residing in His resurrection, and that my life would become intimately associated with His sufferings, and that my life would come into agreement with His death.”
When my life today, is in-line with His suffering and His resurrected life through faith, then I become the beneficiary of His power in my life right now.
John Wesley, in his notes, wrote of this verse, “That I may know him – As my complete Saviour. And the power of his resurrection – Raising me from the death of sin, into all the life of love. And the fellowship of his sufferings – Being crucified with him. And made conformable to his death – So as to be dead to all things here below.”
Are you having trouble with temptation? Does the burden of guilt steal your joy? Have problems and pain sapped you of spiritual, mental and physical strength?
Look to the resurrected Jesus Christ; stick fast to Him; seek His face; listen for His voice; search His Word. He is alive and He brings abundant life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. (Romans 6.5-9)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ applies now, to life now – not just after physical death.
Jesus’ bodily resurrection assures our spiritual resurrection now. His bodily resurrection paved the way for the resurrection of the soul (the mind, the will and the emotions). Because Jesus defeated death physically and spiritually, His resurrection, the power of His resurrection can become a reality in our day-to-day lives. Please, let Him be your resurrection today.