To Know the Power of His Resurrection Requires We Become Like Him In His Death

Thursday, April 17, 2014

man kneeling at cross
"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." Philippians 3:10

Many are willing to follow Christ in the power of his resurrection, but few are willing to follow him in the fellowship of his suffering. Resurrection is the easier of the two paths-it's exciting, powerful and dramatic, joyful and full of celebration. Suffering is none of that. It is not pretty or dramatic, it's hard and lonely, and not very exciting. The truth is that we cannot know Christ in the power of his resurrection until we first truly know him in the fellowship of his sufferings. There cannot be resurrection without death first. Resurrection requires it.

To know Christ in the fellowship of his sufferings is not complicated. It's very simple. No, it's not an easy thing and is very painful. It simply means that we lay down our own life for him as he did for us. It is the daily act of crucifying our will and desires. It means putting to death the sinful deeds of our flesh. It also means letting go of our plans for our life. This is becoming like him in his sufferings for he gave up his position in heaven and became flesh. He surrendered his will in the garden of Gethsemane as he prayed, "...nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done." He literally gave his life for us. The only way to truly know Christ is through the fellowship of his sufferings. In the very instant that we enter this dimension, we then join with him in the power of his resurrection. As we lay down our lives and die to ourselves, our spirits are then resurrected to new life and power through the power of the Spirit. Power comes through death. This is the great paradox-we can't live until we die.

Do you truly want to know Christ? To know him requires your death. To understand the power of his resurrection requires that you understand the fellowship of his sufferings. You can't have one without the other. This is how you become like him. It's not pretty, fun, or exciting. There is no fanfare or celebration but it is the only way to life. That is what Easter is truly all about. Jesus would have been powerless to take up his own life again had he not given up his own life first. The true is same for you and me. The power of a life in Christ comes only by laying down our lives for him as he did for us. May you have a happy Resurrection Day!
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