#DailyDevotion What Do You Want To Know?
Phil. 310I want to know Him and the power of His resurrection, to share His sufferings and be like Him in His death 11if somehow I may join those who rise from the dead.
What does it mean to know Christ Jesus? It is one of several things Paul wants in this sentence. To know Christ Jesus is to know that he is the LORD who formed Adam and Eve in the Garden, who walked and talked with them. It is to know Jesus is the very LORD who called to Abraham and have him move to Canaan. It is to know he is the LORD who called Abraham his friend and also asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac. It is to know Jesus is the LORD who becomes the promised seed of Abraham through whom all nations are blessed. It is to know Jesus is the LORD who spoke to Moses through the burning bush. It is know he is the one who delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians and drowned them in the Red Sea. To know Jesus is to know he is the one who spoke to the Israelites from the mountain and gave the Torah. He, Jesus, the LORD led the Israelites by a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. He talked with Moses as one talks with a friend face to face. He led the Israelites into the Promised Land and fought for them against all their enemies. To know Jesus is to know he is that LORD who has taken on human flesh and offered himself as he commanded Abraham to do to his son Isaac, yet he suffered and died, yes even died on an cross to be the very blessed seed of Abraham who by his death and resurrection obtained salvation for all people.
To know the power of Jesus’ resurrection is to become a new creature in Christ Jesus through baptism. It is to die and rise to newness of life. To know the power of the resurrection is to put aside the deeds of darkness and wickedness and be renewed in mind, spirit and soul to be conformed to the life of God in Christ Jesus. It is to become merciful, kind, forgiving and patient not only with those who love us but even more so our enemies. To know the power of Christ’s resurrection is to become a whole new person whom God lives and dwells, in whom He works to do good.
Even more crazy Paul wants to share in Christ’s sufferings and be like him in his death. We rarely want to suffer today, even if it means ultimately getting what we want in the future. But Paul rejoices in his suffering. Such suffering in Christ is used to make us have a genuine Christian character, patience and hope. Suffering in Christ helps us to comfort others who are also suffering. Christ’s sufferings in our lives prepares us to bear the weight of eternal glory. Suffering for our faith in Christ Jesus is a witness to the new life we have in his resurrection. To be like Jesus Christ in his death is to accept it graciously. It is to forgive those who have sinned against us. To die with Jesus Christ is to have eternal life with him.
Paul desires these things if by and through him he may attain resurrection to eternal life. Is knowing Jesus and his suffering and death that you are willing to participate in order to be raised to eternal life and enter into his kingdom on the Last Day? Doesn’t sound like too much fun to me, however I agree with St. Paul that it is worth it. There is nothing that is worth more to me than being raised from the dead and join the righteous ones in Christ at the resurrection. Anything I’m not willing to give up or lose and still be in Christ is nothing more than an empty idol no matter what or who is it. So don’t let them tear you from Christ. Make him your all.
Heavenly Father, we pray you make us willing to know Christ Jesus, his suffering and death that we may attain the resurrection of the righteous. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.