As we are embarking on the Easter holiday, the Lord wanted me to continue to write about the resurrection. Below, are some additional insights. I pray that they are an added blessing to you.
It was a sunny Thursday afternoon and I was panicking. By now I would have had the blog entry completed and could spend the rest of the day playing with my eight month old granddaughter. Not that day. No matter where she was placed, she would find her way back to “Ganny’s” ankles. Once there, she’d taxi around before deciding which part of the computer cord she wanted to gum.
She is so cute and irresistible; I’ll never get this done. I thought all day. She kept inching up the side of my leg, wanting to be held…so I thought. I’d pick her up each time, hoping to appease her. Staying for only a few minutes, she would kick and squeal wanting to be put back down on the floor. After repeating this a few times, I decided to remove the laptop from my lap and pay closer attention. Inching up the side of my leg once more, she’d place both hands on top of my knees. This time instead of picking her up, I grabbed both her pudgy little hands and raised them slightly above her head. My raising her hands up somehow gave her the courage to stand to her chubby feet.
Each time we did this, she would flash a wet, two-toothed smile. She felt triumphant. She has been pulling up for a couple of weeks now but there was something different about today. I kept thinking about the contrast between the way she looked when she first started pulling up alone and how she looked that day.
At first she would look somewhat unsure of herself. She knew it was time to rise but each time she did she would fall back down, sometimes slightly injuring herself.
Today, she had Ganny’s help. It was something about the strength she felt in my hands that made her smile.
With the extra strength, she was certain she would not fall again.
So it is when we are resurrected. Knowing that we have the power of the resurrection with us, there is no fear of falling.
In the Greek, the word and definition for resurrection is anastasis which means to rise, to stand on your feet again, to rise as oppose to falling. It’s a power entrusted to Christ to lift us from death. It’s available to every believer, but like all spiritual blessings, there are conditions.
To experience resurrection power, you have to identify with his death and burial. You must walk in obedience; you must be a partaker of His divine nature.
Roman 6:5 says: For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.
The book of Romans was written by the Apostle Paul mainly to Gentile people. He wanted them to know the basics of salvation and life in Christ. The first 12 chapters talk about the state of man and how bad men can be good. Chapters 12-16 discuss how good men can become better.
I love the book of Romans. I believe when teaching new converts, Romans is a good place to start.
In chapters 5-8, the Apostle Paul is explaining the process of holiness and sanctification.
In Romans 6:5, he talks about being planted together in the likeness of his death. Planted together means, to grow, increase and be united with the life of another; in this case, he is referring to life in Christ.
He grafts His life into our deadness and releases resurrection power.
Phillippians 3:10-11 says: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and being made comformable unto his death. If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
The apostle Paul, was a highly educated Jewish man, who was taught by Gamaliel; one of the greatest leaders in his day. He could have stopped there and settled for just knowing the scriptures and once he had an encounter with Christ, he could have just added that to his experience.
Most people will just settle for a “head knowledge” of the Word of God and a few spiritual happenings. Usually we will do enough to get by or to obtain the things we want. The average Christian won’t press into the deeper experiences in Christ.
I have heard some ministers unashamedly admit how they managed to avoid certain encounters with the Lord. They did not want to experience seasons of being crucified.
It showed in the quality of their ministry and their interaction with those they were called the lead.
This was not so with Paul. He used the term, “the power of the resurrection,” and not “the power in.” He didn’t just want to experience knowledge of the one-time act of the resurrection. He wanted the continuous power that flowed from it.
He wanted to ginosko Christ. Ginosko is the Greek word for know, which means to know by experience. He desired to identify with every aspect of Him, to become one with the Lord and to press his way into that power!
I remember during my years of adversity, there were some very uncertain days. It got so dark at times, I questioned whether I would make it through. I knew my Co-laborer was always willing to help me but I wondered if I had the ability to do my part or if I would even want to when the time came.
Even my desire to work with Him had died.
I remember the day He exhorted me. He told me, “Births can be stopped. They can be aborted, still born, or premature. Life can be tampered with but not resurrection power. It’s unstoppable and can’t be given or thwarted by man.”
He let me know if I continued with Him, I would receive that power.
This gave me the zeal to press towards that mark.
Let’s take a look at someone who received resurrection power.
Most of us are familiar with the account of Lazarus recorded in chapter 11 of St. John’s gospel, so I will just touch on certain verses.
v. 38 says: Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave and a stone lay upon it.
A stone is symbolic of the place of remembrance. When you’re in a grave, all you can remember is the day you died and how much it hurt. I believe it grieves our Lord to see us go through a dark place, even though He knows it’s for our highest good.
The first thing He tells them is to remove the stone. In other words, do away with the painful memories. I remember when He removed the stone from my life. That’s another blog entry (smile).
In v. 40, Jesus told Martha that if she believed, she would see the glory of God. Resurrection power brings God’s splendor and majesty. Everyone around will know that nobody brought you out of the grave but God!
I remember people offering to help me in my trials and ministry and abruptly changing their minds. This would often times hurt and I’d be disappointed. Then one day the Lord reminded me that what He was doing in my life would not be touched my human hands.
During a resurrection, He uses people as He sees fit.
He called Lazarus by name, showing us that He was the only one being resurrected that day. His hands (deeds), feet (walk), and face (presence) were bound in graveclothes.
Jesus told them to loose him and let him go. There are times when He will send the very ones who tied you up to let you go!
Resurrection power is released for the glory of God and so that others can see there is hope beyond the grave.