“I want to know Christ. I want to know the power of His resurrection.”
Why does knowing Christ matter? Why can’t we just life life by His teachings?
Jesus Himself says in John 17 to say:
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
Eternal life is what? Knowing God, knowing Jesus! Without knowing Him, there is no true life.
Knowing facts vs. REALLY Knowing
There is a difference between knowing about someone and actually knowing them. I might know a lot of facts about Barack Obama — but I don’t know him. But if I showed up knocking at the White House door, they would cart me off to jail. Because, even though I know about him, I have no relationship with him.
Consider my relationship with my wife beautiful wife, Michele. I know more about her than any of you. I could tell you her height, her weight, her birthday (this Friday), where she’s from; The jobs she has held; The names of her brother and sister and her parents. And you would know all these facts about her life.
But still, even after hearing all the stories, you won’t really know her. To know her, you would have to be in relationship with her.
Furthermore, I know her not because I know all these facts about her, or because I can tell stories about her. I know her because for 22 years we have been in relationship, sharing joys and pains, — even causing in each other joys and pain. I have seen her lift me up when I am hurt, and stand by me even when she disagrees with me. I have seen her support me with all her strength in all that I do. So I know her. Yes, I know a lot of facts about her. But knowing her is much more than knowing facts about her life.
In the very same way, knowing God also is much more than knowing facts about God. How can we come into this deep, personal relationship with God?
How Do We Know Him?
Well, it’s not all about facts, but know ABOUT Him helps. Knowing Michele means more than knowing facts, but it would be hard to say that I know her if I don’t know at least some facts about her life. So we do need to learn about God.
We really get to know God the same way that we get to know anybody else, the same way I got to know Michele. TIME. We spend time together. Spending time with God helps us to deepen our relationship.
Church, prayer (talking to Him), other believers. Even if you aren’t a believer yet, you can still get to know Him. Ask Him questions, read His word, get to know Him.
KNOWING THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION
Now I think the “Knowing Christ” part of this verse is much easier for us to grasp than this second part, “and the power of His resurrection.” How can we know the power of His resurrection? What the heck does that mean?
I believe that “the power of His resurrection” is the power to bring vibrant life where there was death and decay.
To understand the full extent of this we have to go all the way back to the Garden of Eden. See God created us to live in vibrant life with connected to Him and to others.
But then there was this tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and God said “don’t eat from that one! If you eat from that one you will surely DIE!”
Along comes the serpent, Satan, he tempts, he lies, “You won’t DIE!”
They eat and…they DON’T DIE! Not physically, not yet. The death God was warning them about was not just a physical death. Just physical death would have been easy. See when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God – DEATH ITSELF ENTERED THE WORLD. Death as a condition entered the world.
When we hear the word “death” what images come to mind? “Separation and Decay” Soul from body, living from dead, loved ones, rot.
This is death and it permeates everything around us! And it characterizes our relationship with God and with each other.
Death, brought on by sin, tries to seep into every relationship we have: marriage, friendship, and tries to cause this “separation and decay”.
The most obvious example of death is physical death. It’s the most permanent, devastating and unavoidable. By His resurrection, Jesus showed that He has power over even the most final form of “separation and decay”.
That is the power of His resurrection! This is the power that Paul wanted to know, because it is the power to bring life where there is death: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The power of His resurrection destroyed the separation between us and God, and us and each other.
The power of His resurrection is the ability of Jesus Christ to take something broken: lives, marriages, relationships and make them beautiful again.
If Jesus has not been raised then we are to be pitied. Because then we cannot know Him and our faith in Him has no power.
So, let me ask you on this beautiful, Easter morning: is there something in your life, something inside you that cries out to know Jesus and the power of His resurrection? A relationship or a situation that needs to have His life giving power breathed into it?
Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock…”. Then there’s no better time than Resurrection Sunday to ask Him to come in and change your life forever.