Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling
What does the Resurrection mean to you? A promise? A message of hope? For the Apostle Paul, the Resurrection was both. In 1 Corinthians 6:14, Paul writes that, “By his power God raised he Lord ftrom the dead, and he will raise us also.” And in Romans 5:10, he declares: “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” The assurance of our salvation and of our future resurrection is enough in itself to celebrate the empty tomb. Still, for Paul, the Resurrection was more than a promise and a hope.
It empowered him to persevere trials as a missionary in conflict:
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3:10-11
Paul understood that the Lord’s resurrection was inextricably intertwined with His suffering. While we will never know the full extent of either, we can and do experience elements of our Savior’s resurrection power in the midst of our suffering—but not without struggle. Pain, whether emotional, spritual, or physical, often causes us to become self-absorbed. That’s why Paul reminds us to fully devote ourselves to the ascended Christ who possesses all authority to intercede on our behalf: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). The resurrection power promises a future life in glory and a present life with enough grace to press through suffering—all within the mysterious fellowship of our risen Savior. So this Easter (and everyday of the year), let’s “set our hearts” on the resurrection power from “above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God!”