“…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…”
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is a crucial piece of evidence proving the Christian faith is valid. Without it, our belief in God and in Christ is rendered meaningless, if not, foolish – 1 Corinthians 15:14.
Critics and detractors of Christianity are offering different kinds of hypothesis in their vain efforts to debunk the resurrection of Jesus. So far, none of these absurd and ridiculous theories have been successful in their attempts to discredit the resurrection. Each one of these alternate theories falls flat against the overwhelming evidences pointing to Jesus’ rising back from the dead.
But defending the resurrection of Jesus should not be limited only within the arena of of philosophical discourses. But our defense of this watershed event in our Savior’s life must also be seen in the arena of every believer’s daily life. Debating with a critic, let’s say, an atheist, about the resurrection of Jesus and proving him wrong is essential. But what is equally essential, if not, more important is that we could also validate with our lives that Jesus Christ had indeed risen from the dead. We cannot validate the resurrection of Jesus with our arguments one moment, but invalidate it the next with our lifestyle.
Hence, like Apostle Paul, we must seek to know Christ to an extent that we know the power of His resurrection. This knowledge Apostle Paul is seeking to possess is not merely a head knowledge, but it is an experiential knowledge. Paul wants to know the resurrection not just as a doctrine but as an experience; a way of life that consumes his whole being, and not just his mental faculty.
This is usually what handicaps our confession and witness to the world — the absence of a life that showcases the power and reality of God. Too many Christians are contented to know mentally their faith, but very few believers are actually demonstrating that divine power in their walk with Jesus. Many are weak, compromising, and backslidden. Many hold on only to a “form of godliness”, but estranged from the power of God – 2 Timothy 3:5. Many are living as “enemies of the cross” – Philippians 3:18.
But why stay powerless and weak? This power of resurrection is available to anyone who seeks to acquire it. And it can only be realized thru the path of righteous and holy sufferings. The same path that Jesus Himself took during the entirety of His earthly ministry. Eventually, He died. But He didn’t remain dead. He rose from the dead! Jesus is resurrected! And just as He was resurrected, so will you be!
From the Series:
From Golgotha To Glory: A 10-Day Lenten Week Devotional
By Bishop Jonathan S. Ferriol