“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
This verse reveals quite the challenge: know the power of Jesus’ resurrection, share in his suffering, and become like him in death. God, what does this even mean, and how is this humanly possible? I am a wicked and vile human being, and I could never, ever begin to understand the depth of Christ’s sacrifice for me. I am not perfect like Jesus was, and I will never carry the weight of the whole entire world’s sin on my shoulders. God, help me to understand what you are trying to speak to me.
I may not be able to fully grasp the concept Paul is explaining, but one thing I do know is Jesus. I know who he is, I know his character, and I know how he acted at his death. Isaiah 53:7,11 says, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth…Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous and he shall bear their iniquities.” Never once did my Savior complain, or cry out against his Father. He was whipped, beaten, mocked, tortured, publicly shamed, and crucified, and he never said a single word, until right before he committed his spirit into God’s hands. He was completely humble, and wholly obedient and yielded to the will of the Father. He served, and loved all the way up until the very end, because he knew the bigger picture. Jesus knew that death would only last a few nights, and three days later, he would overcome and arise victoriously. His conquest enabled all people on earth in that present time, and the times to come, the opportunity to gain life abundantly and eternally, forever pardoned from their sin. He overcame death, and gave us the opportunity to have a resurrected life as well, and Galatians 2:20 truly unravels the greater meaning behind Philippians 3:10. It says, “For I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” If I am to gain Christ, be found in Him, and know the power of his resurrection, I must give up all of my rights. I hold no authority, and I truly have no worth apart from Jesus; I am simply a pile of ashes. But, when I can release my grip on my life, and kill the wandering ways, and wayward thoughts and desires of my flesh, I am restored unto beauty and I begin to conform into the image of His likeness; and like Christ, my flesh perishes, and my spirit is revived and reawakened to the joy of my salvation. Truly, life begins the moment I die. Life begins the moment I begin to understand the depth of God’s love for me. That He would even think to send his son to save a filthy wretch like me. Jesus, give me a heart that is willing to submit unto your spirit, and may I draw upon you for strength, to fight against my flesh each day.
Application: Going on to week eleven, I have become weary. Life has become very routine, devotions have become dry, and it just seems harder to love and minister to people. That being said, I will pray for God to resurrect my heart and become the driving of everything I do.