Posted January 28, 2013
10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
What’s your ultimate goal in life? Why do you do what you do? What makes you tick? What keeps getting you out of bed in the mornings? In verse 10, we discover Paul’s ultimate goal in life: he wanted to know Christ! This “knowing” that Paul speaks about isn’t just a head knowledge about Christ and learning more facts about him, but rather it is one of the most intimate words he could have used expressing a deep union with Christ. It wasn’t enough for Paul to merely “gain” Christ (verse 8), or to be “found in him” (verse 9), but these served a greater purpose: knowing Christ with increasing intimacy. May we join Paul in this prayer and longing!
What does knowing Christ entail? Paul teaches us it involves two things: knowing the power of his resurrection and sharing in his sufferings.
1) The power of his resurrection. This isn’t just a future power we will one day experience, but there is a “present-ness” to it; it’s a power at work in the life of the believer today! His power brought us from death to life when we repented, his power is changing us currently, and one day his resurrection power will raise us to life after death. Praise be to God for his resurrection power that we currently taste and will one day taste more fully!
2) The sharing of his sufferings. It’s funny how quickly suffering can be skipped over by the Western Church, but was such a big part of Jesus and the apostles’ teaching. Often Christianity can become triumphalistic in regards to the resurrection and scoff at suffering, but Paul won’t allow us to do this. Instead, Paul teaches us that the resurrection gives us a new lens with which to look at suffering. In the same way that suffering was not the end for Christ, so suffering is not the end for the Christian! For those who are found in Christ, Christ and his resurrection will always have the last word. Suffering becomes a mean by which God shapes his life in us; suffering is never purposeless for the Christian! To read more about suffering, check out this blog by the folks at Fighter Verses (http://fighterverses.com/blog-post/suffering-means-knowing-jesus-more/).
This week’s song was written by Colt and Claire Westbrook who live and work in OKC. They play in a band called Mopak and will be releasing a new EP this spring. You can follow them on Twitter to stay updated (@mopakmusic). This week’s artwork was created by Jesse Owen, a graphic designer out of OKC. Check out his work at www.10am.org. Here’s his artist statement about the design: “I wanted to play with the idea of light/life coming from death. So within the shape of death (coffin) springs forth new life in the shape of a cross. I also wanted to bring in the element of humanity with fingerprint and Jesus' sacrifice with the blood.”