The greatest display of God’s power, since the creation of the world, was at work on the day of the resurrection, not because the situation required the display of such immense power but that the Church might know the infinite power that was being bestowed on them. (Though the ten plagues and the parting of the Red sea were phenomenal, yet they happened on earth! But the resurrection happened in the underworld; in the dominion of darkness which was undoubtedly more powerful than all the nations on the face of the earth. Only the Church is more powerful than the Kingdom of darkness! )
Paul uses the following superlatives to describe that power, but I wonder whether words can fully describe this infinite power!
‘I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know … his INCOMPARABLY great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion …’ (Ephesians 1:18-21)
‘We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this ALL-SURPASSING power is from God and not from us.’ (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Paul didn’t claim that he knew this power, but said, ‘I want to know Christ and the power of the resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow , to attain to the resurrection from the dead.’ (Philippians 3:10-11)
Qn : Why did this man who encountered Jesus, on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-5), still say, ‘I want to know Christ’?
Qn : Why did this man who was stoned at Lystra and dragged outside the city, thinking he was dead (Acts 14:19-20), but got up and went back to the city, after he came back to life (2 Corinthians 12:2), still say, ‘I want to know the power of the resurrection’?
Qn : Why did this man who describes in detail his sufferings for the gospel in his epistles (2 Corinthians 11:23-29), still say, ‘I want to know the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings’?
Ans : In Paul’s own words : ‘I am becoming like him (Christ) in his death, and so, somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead’ ! (Vs 11)
Is it so difficult to be part of the first resurrection ?
‘If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.’ ( Romans 6:5)
As we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ (erroneously called Easter), let us like Paul say, ‘Not that I have obtained all this or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me … Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 3:12- 14)