Easter Every Day
Is 'Easter every day' really possible?
... that I may know him and the power of his resurrection... (Philippians 3:10a). Easter every day. Isn't that what Paul is expressing here to the Philippians? Absolutely. But the context of this statement helps us guard against an all-too-common temptation. For some, “the power of his resurrection” that Paul talks about in this verse is simply the power of Jesus to live out some version of life as I know it (and approve of it). Not surprisingly, such supernatural power is appealing to many in our stretched and stressed-out, energy drink-guzzling world. In this context, knowing Jesus (Paul's theme here) becomes about a kind of 'Jesus know-how' in terms of my ongoing, personal identity project.
But in the rest of verse 10, Paul also speaks about Jesus' “sufferings”, and “becoming like him in his death”. And right there we find the critical 'guardrail'. Resurrection apart from death is not resurrection. It is reconfiguration. It is reinterpretation. It is renovation and remodeling. But it isn't resurrection. To truly “know... the power of his resurrection”, one must truly know the pain of Christ's death. No. I'm not talking about experiencing his cross as an historical event. None of us can do that. But I am thinking about experiencing his cross as instrument of death. As Paul testifies, personally knowing “the power of his resurrection” begins with “loss” (v. 8). It begins with allowing God to kill any version of 'life as I know it'; that life of sinful self-determination, severed from the One who made me. It is then lived out with a kind daily dying to that “personal identity project”.
How is any of this possible? The “power of his resurrection”. The power that raised Christ from the dead is the very power available to us, through faith, not only to let go of what was, but to grab hold of what is now ours in Christ (and what will be)(vs. 12-14). That is God's ongoing, personal identity project for you. That is Easter every day.
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