Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Power of His Resurrection


Philippians 3  NKVJ
10  That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

There were so many who knew Jesus in the power of His life and in the power of His death.
·        The little woman who touched His clothes and was healed knew Jesus in His life
·        The multitude knew Jesus in His life
·        The woman caught in adultery knew Jesus in His life
·        Even Judas Iscariot knew Jesus in His life
o   They knew Jesus as
§  Helper
§  Healer
§  Provider
§  Friend
The life of Jesus was filled with healings and miracles. Jesus was on a mission to seek and to save the lost. During His life He was found reaching out to and spending time with sinners and those of questionable character or the poor, sick, downtrodden and castaways. Jesus chose to fill His life helping and teaching, providing and encouraging those in need of a Savior.

·        The thief on the cross knew Jesus in His death
·        The Roman soldier at the cross knew Jesus in His death
·        Both Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus knew Jesus in His death
o   They all knew Jesus as
§  Savior
§  Redeemer
§  Messiah
§  The Lamb
The death of Jesus was full of agony. Betrayal, lies, hypocrisy, false accusations, abusive beatings, sorrow, loneliness and grief surrounded the Savior as He walked the path to Calvary. Beaten and rejected, unjustly sentenced and wrongfully condemned to die, Jesus was nailed to a wooden cross and crowned with thorns, His side was pierced and He was given vinegar to drink. Heartbroken and alone Jesus died for sins He did not commit so that others could claim the forgiveness they did not deserve.

There were so many who knew Jesus in the power of His life and in the power of His death.

However that’s not the end of the story … The message of the New Testament is not complete without the power of His resurrection. Many men have spent their lives to help and heal, to provide and befriend. As well many have given their lives in sacrificial acts of love as a ransom for others. Good men abound in the annuls of history – however, only One lived a sinless life, died an atoning death and entered into the bowels of the earth to defeat satan.

Only One took the keys of death and hell from the devil’s clutch. Only One was raised by the power of the Holy Spirit and lives to reign forever as the Lord of all glory. Only One holds the eternal title as Healer, Redeemer and the eternal King of all Kings … It’s because of the resurrection and His Name is Jesus!

I want to know Him in life; I want to know Him in death … but as the Apostle Paul so fervently declared – I live as I live, believe like I believe, and I do what I do:

Philippians 3  NKVJ
10  That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11  if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12  Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Both life and death can be a press but thanks be to God our Heavenly Father who has given us a power that is beyond this life and greater than death. O that I may know Jesus and the power of His resurrection!

A life filled with goodness and a death full of pain, the Messiah was laid in a borrowed tomb. The devil imagined he had won the victory over God and His Son … but he was wrong! The real power was yet to come!

Taken down into the pit of hell covered in the sins of mankind Jesus was led like a sheep to the slaughter … He opened not His mouth. Once standing face to face with the devil who had power over death Jesus, Son of God, Messiah of the Jews and Savior of the World, took His opportunity and bruised the serpents head, took the keys of death and hell, preached the Gospel to the prisoners of death, destroyed principalities and powers, made a show of them openly and triumphed over them once and for all and set the captives free.

Then on the third day Jesus rose from hell and the grave, His Spirit re-entered His Body and He raised Himself up from death by the power of the Holy Spirit of His Father God. An angel descending with the earthquake rolled the stone from the tomb making the soldiers as though they were dead and opened way for Jesus to walk out of that grave alive forevermore as the undisputed King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords, victorious over sin, death, hell and the grave.

If that same power which raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you it will make your mortal bodies truly alive. (Romans 8:11)

The resurrection of Jesus is filled with power and majesty. The wrongs were made right and death lost its sting. It’s the resurrection of Christ that seals Him as the only Son of God and Savior of the World. O that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection and fellowship of His sufferings and be conformed by His death. What a Savior … what a Friend!

Certainly we understand the disappointments surrounding those followers of Jesus 2000 years ago when after they had witnessed the power of His life and then the trauma of His death, they imagined all was lost. It had to have seemed like a dream, perhaps more like a nightmare … Jesus had been betrayed, arrested, accused, beaten, tried, found guilty, sentenced, condemned to die, forsaken, crucified and buried … and all of that had only been 3 days ago … What more could happen?

Mark 16
1 ¶  Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
2  Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
3  And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"
4  But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away — for it was very large.
5  And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
6  But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.
7  "But go, tell His disciples — and Peter — that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."
8  So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

The account continues as Mary went to inform the eleven disciples as to what she had seen and heard. It must have been daunting to see them refuse to believe her report … nonetheless, she pressed on.

Matthew 28, Luke 26 and John 19 tell the story of Peter and John who then ran to the tomb and finding it empty they went away perplexed. Mary pressed on supposing the caretaker had moved the body of Jesus to another place since this was the private tomb of a very wealthy and politically influential business man. When she attempted to question one she assumed was the caretaker she found it was Jesus alive and well. He comforted her and sent her on a mission to go and tell.

That evening Jesus appeared to His disciples and rebuked them for their refusal to believe Mary and her testimony of His resurrection. Over the next 40 days Jesus also appeared to more than 500 people before giving His last Great Commission in which He commanded His followers to press on and to go and tell others the Good News.

Jesus is alive!!! O, that I might know Him, in life, in death and in the power of His resurrection.

What is this power? It is the power to defeat the devil and to live above the confines of sin, death, hell and the grave. We have a risen Savior who has given us a power to outlive this world and all of its trouble.

Paul said “to live is Christ and to die is gain!”

Those who are yet unconvinced of the resurrection of Jesus cannot be secure in their eternal life.

When commenting on the passage in John 19 concerning the resurrection John Calvin said:

“The weakness of faith is manifested when the confession of faith is withheld.”

Confess your faith in the risen Savior and in His singular rightful claim to the eternal throne of God’s grace. Believe the Good News and

Happy and Power-Filled Resurrection Day!