In Philippians 3:10, the Apostle Paul said, “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection.” Paul wanted to know the power of Jesus’ resurrection. Most of us believe in the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. We hold orthodox theology with regards to its meaning and significance for our faith. But how many of us want to know its power? Perhaps we should take a step back and look at the word to “know.” Paul does not merely want to “know about Christ and his resurrection” intellectually. Paul wants to know Christ and his resurrection in a personal way. The idea of knowing in the Bible is to have intimate personal knowledge and experience.
So, why does Paul want to personally know and experience Christ and the power of his resurrection? There must be something about the resurrection power that Paul wants to know personally. What is it? And here is where we find that the power of the resurrection is very important to theology, but more importantly it is the power to live out the Christian faith.
Here is a short list of the things Christ’s resurrection guaranteed for us: repentance (Acts 5:31); no condemnation (Romans 8:34); new birth (1 Peter 1:3); forgiveness of sins (1 Corinthians 15:17); our future resurrection (2 Corinthians 4:14); and The Holy Spirit (Acts 2:32-33). When we know the power of Christ’s resurrection and know all that it guarantees for us, we can live like Paul lived.
Paul went on to say, “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.”
As we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, may we like Paul desire to know Him and the power of His resurrection, not just know about it!
– Pastor Corey