Updated: Mar 15
As we approach Resurrection Sunday, is there something in your personal life in which you long to experience Christ’s resurrection power? Is there something in mine?
With the resurrection of Jesus, earth’s opposing odds were overwhelmingly stacked. Yet, because Christ had first firmly settled His resolve to drink the bitter, heavy cup—not for His own benefit, but for the sole purpose of the Father’s good will, trusting wholly the Father’s eternal heart and not His own earthly humanity—the resurrection’s reality was firmly settled in Heaven, thus becoming the ultimate upset ever known to Satan’s dominion.
Sin was conquered. The grave silenced. Satan defeated. Salvation secured.
Praise the Lamb who was slain!
He is risen! He is risen, indeed!
What’s so equally incredible and unquestionably praiseworthy is that from this sacrifice—this humble, selfless death—is entrusted to each child of God the very same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. In Romans 8, one of the most foundational and glorious chapters in all the New Testament, the Apostle Paul clearly declares this a reality.
Likewise, in the opening of Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus, he stresses this as well, referring to Christ's indwelling Spirit as "his incomparably great power for us who believe. . . the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him. . .in the heavenly realms. . ." (1:19-20).
Pause for a moment and consider the magnitude of Paul's words.
If you are a born-again child of God, Jesus Christ’s resurrection power dwells within you. And it dwells within me. Through the person of the Holy Spirit, the same power that brought our Savior from the tomb is inside every true believer. What an inconceivable, blessed reality is ours!
However, without personal sacrifice and submission—yes, the purposeful crucifixion of self, putting fleshly perspective and desires and strength of will to death—there is no experiential proof of Christ’s resurrection power. To put it in straightforward terms: We cannot live as we want, indifferent to obedience of the Word and oneness with our Father, and expect the Holy Spirit's mighty power to be exerted in our daily lives.
But, glory to God, once we resolve ourselves to death, modeling Jesus as we earnestly look to the Father for heavenly perspective and aid, this "mighty strength" is exerted within our mortal bodies.
It's a spiritual wonder that's no less miraculous than Christ's resurrection from the grave, as the Spirit's resurrecting power enables us to live victoriously.
While He was with them, Jesus told His disciples that until “a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains a single grain of wheat” (John 12:24). Likewise, unless we, His beloved followers, personally choose death in areas where life is not evident, we will not fully know the power of Christ’s resurrection at work in this fallen and imperfect world, in these fallen and imperfect bodies.
Yet, so often, when it comes to our personal lives and experiences, many of us long for, pray for, make an appealing and convincing case for the miracle of the resurrection. But. . . just without the heavy, humble reality of personal death. Because no matter how badly we desire, no matter how greatly we need the miraculous, we just cannot bring ourselves to crucify our flesh, crucify our will. We’re just not willing enough to lay it all on the line, to surrender it all on the altar. To deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow His lead (Matthew 16:24-26).
Just not willing enough, even in our own Gethsemane, to submissively and firmly resolve ourselves like our Lord and Master did to “Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42).
The bottom line?
We want the hallelujah of the resurrection without the humility and heaviness of Calvary.
However, Jesus’ model, displayed in all four Gospels, clearly testifies that it doesn’t happen this way. It just doesn’t.
First and foremost, there’s a cross.
Humility. Intimacy. Oneness. Submission. Death.
A collective indication of an overarching desire for God’s heavenly purposes, not just earthly will, pleasures, comfort, or gain.
In this, Satan’s dominion—darkness and death—is defeated.
Light and life usher forth.
And just as it was with the Son, the Father is glorified in our lives as we sojourn this earthly plain.
As He should be.