Philippians 3:10. that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
Do you remember Jesus’ Passion Week? Let’s review:
- Thursday: Jesus celebrates the Passover with his disciples in the upper room. He serves them by washing their feet, and he commands them to love each other just as he loves them.
- Friday: Jesus demonstrates what pure, unconditional love is as he goes to the cross, dying in our place for our sins.
- Saturday: Love is hidden from view as Jesus’ body is in the tomb. The disciples long for answers. Christ’s spirit enters the heavenly tabernacle presenting his life as the sacrifice for sins.
- Sunday: Jesus is alive! Christ resurrects from the grave bringing hope, peace, and love back to humanity.
Note this Passion Week progression: Service – Death – Desire – Resurrection Life.
Just as Christ’s work on Earth brought him from death into life, so too our union with Christ brings us from death into the resurrection life of God. God’s glorious grace has granted to us all that is Christ’s. Every blessing. Every inheritance. Every right and privilege and honor. All glory is ours to share in him. Amen!
But what we often fail to see is that we were not resurrected with Christ to stay in the garden, like Mary, clinging to Jesus’ feet, refusing to let go. Reveling in his glory. Holding on until the return of Jesus. We were not resurrected spiritually so that we could coast until we are resurrected physically. And we were not resurrected spiritually so that we might experience all the “blessings” of the here and now.
Look again at Philippians 3:10 noting the direction Paul is moving – from resurrection to death and suffering. You see, our union with Christ’s resurrection power, as we know it more and more, allows us to share in the sufferings of Christ, and to be conformed to him in his death.
Jesus moved from Thursday to Sunday so that we might move from Sunday to Thursday.
- Our Spiritual Sunday: We have been granted the hope of resurrection life, love, and goodness.
- Our Spiritual Saturday: Christ’s resurrection power in us allows us to walk by faith, not sight. Though we can’t see Jesus we love him and long to see him again, trusting him fully until we do, even in our suffering.
- Our spiritual Friday: Christ’s resurrection power at work within the reality of this “Suffering Saturday” allows us to put to death the desires of the flesh. By taking up our cross daily, we can replace all sinful desires, self-righteous schemes, and God-substitutes with the greater joy of knowing Jesus.
- Our spiritual Thursday: Now that resurrection power has brought us back to the self-sacrifice of the cross, we can now be the servants that we were created to be. The foot washers. The lovers of others.
Is this how you see your life in Christ? Becoming like the dying Christ by the power of the living Christ? Would others be able to spot the evidence of this in your life? Could they see you giving up your own agenda and interests FROM resurrection power (not just a martyr complex)? Might others see you embracing your suffering as shared suffering with Jesus (not just a guilt trip)?
To embrace union with Christ is to walk backwards through Jesus’ passion. From resurrection power to the revelation of desires within the darkness of this life. From selfish desires to the death of the self. From the death of the self to the service of others. Knowing Christ’s resurrection power through the fellowship of suffering and the likeness of his death. This is “to live is Christ.”
Can you see yourself in Philippians 3:10? Have you ever said what Paul is saying here?
You in Christ
How does having resurrection power in Christ allow us to embrace the likeness of his suffering and death?
Christ in you
Where in your day today might you embrace the shared suffering of Christ in loving others?
Playlist: Like Him in His Death.
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