Isaiah 66:1-24; Philippians 3:4b-21; Psalm 74:1-23; Proverbs 24:15-16
The Power of His Resurrection
Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (3:10-11). Paul wanted to “know” Christ.
At first glance that might seem strange because, after all, he met Christ on the road to Damascus. What Paul was saying was he really wanted to know Christ—to know Him intimately, to share the way Jesus walked, to share the Cross He bore, to share in His death, and to share in His Resurrection and the life He lives forevermore.
I wonder if we too often think of Christ’s Resurrection as an event in history that significantly grew the church, but that it was a moment in history and not a living event. The power of His Resurrection guarantees us that this life is worth living and that there is a promise of life after death.
Paul gave up everything to follow Christ and to try to live his life in the model of Christ’s life. To really know Christ is to know Him with such intimacy that the power of His Resurrection will help us to live a moral life with renewed spirit and true peace. But, and there is always a but, we need to recognize that as Christ sacrificed for us—and Paul and so many others sacrificed to walk with Christ—we must also be willing to make sacrifices.
We have to ask ourselves if we find ourselves too busy to spend time in prayer, or to serve our neighbors. We create mission statements like, “To Know Christ and to make Him known.” Do we really take the time and make the effort to “know Christ”?
Paul lived every last moment of his life wanting to know Christ and was willing to do whatever it took to be that close to Christ. Whatever our sacrifice or commitment, the reward of knowing Christ intimately is worth the sacrifice.
The Rev. Ed Bartle
St. Edward’s Episcopal Church
Mount Dora, FL