“The difference between knowing Christ and knowing the power of His resurrection is the difference between knowing a person and resembling a person . . . It is not about relationships but about supernatural character growth. When Paul says, “I want to know Him,” it means, “I want to be with Him,” but when he says, “I want to know the power of his resurrection,” it means, “I want to be just like Him.” Look at the deadness in your life. Look at the anger. How is that going to be turned into forgiveness? Look at the insecurity. How is that going to be turned into confidence? Look at self-centeredness. How is that going to be turned into compassion and generosity? How? The answer is that the dead stuff gets taken over by the Spirit of God . . . The minute you decide to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, the power of the Holy Spirit comes into your life. It’s the power of the resurrection—the same thing that raised Jesus from the dead.” – J.I. Packer.
We had amazing Easter worship services at Northstar Sunday. The atmosphere was wonderful, the music was beautiful, and the message was meaningful. Seeing so many people worshipping the risen Savior is what makes the day so sacred and inspiring.
We try our best to prepare in anticipation of Easter. We reflect on the cross and its significance. We think about the gap between Good Friday and Easter Sunday and what it must have been like to discover the empty grave and a risen Savior. And then Easter is here and just as quickly in the rearview mirror. Jesus is risen, we went to church, and now it’s back to our “normal life.” But nothing was or is normal after Jesus.
Jesus did not come to give us vague hope. The empty tomb is not the end of the story. Jesus is not gone. He lives. Really and truly lives. Not figuratively. He is alive.
In the days following the resurrection, the disciples see Him, touch Him, and eat with Him. The same person constantly who reached out to touch, heal, forgive, comfort, and feed. The same person subject to torture, degradation, and death conquered death.
The temptation is to treat Easter as an ending. But there is no ending. Easter was a revolution and nothing would ever be the same again. When a man who claims to be God rises from the dead, “business as usual” goes by the wayside. Easter isn’t just a time to pause and reflect on some nice truths we tend to forget about the rest of the year. It is the very foundation of our faith. The cross, the empty grave, and the resurrected Jesus not only give us a reason to hope for change, but they also give us the power to change. Rather than us trying to change from our own efforts, the resurrection changes us. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul tells us, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
“The joyful news that He is Risen does not change the world. We must still work, exercise discipline, and make sacrifices. But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline and make the sacrifice.” – St Augustine.
- What message was God sending mankind through Jesus’ resurrection?
- When did the reality of the resurrection of Christ first impact you?