“… to know the power of his resurrection…”
“Jesus insisted that people could not live at the circumference unless they were alive at the center. The modern attempt is to have quantity of life at the circumference regardless of quality of life at the center. Jesus knew this would end in futility and cynicism and utter shallowness.” E. Stanley Jones
I don’t know how Paul could’ve described a mature union with God more deeply than he did in Philippians 3:10-16. Even David, the Hebrew Bible’s consummate fellowshipper with God, couldn’t have reached down this deep, for the obvious reason that Jesus hadn’t yet come, died, and been raised. Israel’s minstrel had no way of conceiving of the “power of the resurrection.” The best he could do was to refer to it a time or two, by way of prophetic imagination, in his musical diary. What we know as history remained for him a veiled mystery.
Let’s be clear that “knowing him in the power of the resurrection” is something immeasurably more than knowing about him and his power. Anyone who can read or hear the story can know about it. But the power that Paul pined for, along with every mature Christian since, is the life-laced enablement of Jesus inside us. We yearn for the dynamic that transforms our internal ugliness to his beauty, from our self-indulgent ways to finding our center and purpose in him. It’s Jesus inside us living his life through us that we can’t live without.
Let’s also be clear that knowing this power experientially takes supernatural revelation. Paul prayed:
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms… (Ephesians 1)
The same power that raised Jesus is the very power that we rely on and have unlimited access to in order to live like him. Somebody ought to say “AMEN!” right about now!
It’s one thing to believe in the reality of the resurrection and another thing to possess and depend on that same power surging through our spiritual veins. Knowing the chemical composition and nutritional benefits of spinach and actually eating it are two different things. Knowing Jesus in the power of his resurrection is digesting him and living in his strength. Jesus said:
“In the same way that the fully alive Father sent me here and I live because of him, so the one who makes a meal of me lives because of me.” (John 6:57–The Message)
This is how dependent mature Christians are on the live-Savior in their quest to be like him, drawing on the full benefits of having the risen Jesus in them.
This is the 3rd of 10ish posts on How Mature Christians Act. Scroll down for earlier ones.
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