Philippians 3:10-11 “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 the resurrection from the dead.”
I want to know the power of Jesus’ resurrection. Of all the events of Jesus life, of all the events of Bible history, of all the events of human history, none is more important than Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. This is how we know that his death on the cross was an acceptable payment for our sins. This is how God has made it possible for us to be sure that we will rise from the dead. This is the good news we call the gospel.
I want to know its power. This is the message Paul was speaking of in Romans when he said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” This is the message he had in mind when he said, “Faith comes from hearing the message.” Jesus’ resurrection has the power to transform you and me from timid, quaking, uncertain, depressed, pessimistic, self-serving creatures of this world into bold, happy, daring, confident, willing, optimistic servants of God.
To have this, I am even willing to know “the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.” We Christians often say that we want to be Christ-like. We want to be more like Jesus. But if we are truly like Jesus, that doesn’t mean living an easy, wealthy life free from trouble. The more Jesus preached the truth, the more people opposed him, and the harder his life became. If we are faithful to his message, we won’t have to go looking for troubles. They will come looking for us. But suffering for Jesus’ sake is okay, because it is one more evidence that we truly belong to him, and he to us.
Finally, like Paul, I want to “attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Ultimately, that’s what our attachment to Christ is all about, isn’t it? What good is a restored relationship with God, what good is the love of Christ and our new righteous identity, if this short, sad, hard life is all there is? I want to be sure of the next life! I want to be sure of heaven! And because of all that God has done for us in Christ, we can be sure!
Then, truly, we will know him, face to face, in all his glory and love.