Easter people know the power of the resurrection

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Easter people know the power of the resurrection

Are you interested only in the power of the resurrection or are you also happy to know the fellowship of Jesus suffering, asks Fr Alvan Ibeh in the latest of the Voice of Hope series.

We are grateful to God for the privilege of experiencing yet another Easter. We are all Easter people, for without the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, we would have been lost forever. You can imagine how it would have been if Jesus, after promising that He was going to rise on the third day (He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise”), and then after the third day, nothing happened. Where are we going to be in God?

I am sure there will not be anything called Christianity today, because that would have been the end of that movement. The disciples of Christ would have all dispersed in shame and utter disappointment because people would have mocked them to say their leader has scammed them. This is because Jesus also made a public declaration about his resurrection on the third day, though they didn’t understand what he meant when He said: “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days”. So in essence, whenever we celebrate Easter, we are reminded once again that our God is a faithful God. He is a promise keeping God who never goes back on his promises. He promised that He will bring back His Son from the dead, and He did exactly as He said, and because Christ has been resurrected from the dead, we have firm hope that when we die in Him, we will also be resurrected on the last day.

It was indeed after the resurrection of Christ and His appearance to His followers as a proof that He is alive that made their courage to witness to the good news stronger and more powerful. The resurrection of Christ came with power for all who believed in Him. It was this power that St Paul desired to know about in Philippians 3:10 –“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection”.

Every year, we celebrate our Lord’s resurrection at Easter but are we actually aware of the power that His resurrection carries? The power which St Paul himself discovered and desired to have an intimate knowledge of. The Lord’s resurrection is spiritually powerful as evidencing the justification of believers (Romans 4:24-25, 1 Corinthians 15:14, 1 Corinthians 15:17-18), it assures us of our own bodily resurrection (1Corinthians 15:20, 1Thessalonians 4:14). And yet, His resurrection is that which constituted Him actually the life-giving second Adam, the giver of the spirit who unites the members to Him the vital head (John 7:39, John 20:22, Acts 2:33, Ephesians 4:4-16).

Paul was not only interested in knowing the power of the resurrection, he went further to add – “and the fellowship of His suffering”. Christ of course wouldn’t have been resurrected if He had not suffered and died. So we can’t separate His suffering and death from His resurrection. St Paul deals with the fact that the Lord, who has redeemed him, has done it at the severest cost of pain; and that a moral and spiritual necessity calls His redeemed ones, who are united vitally to Him, to “carry the cross” in their measure, for his sake, in His track, and by His spirit’s power. He implies that this cross bearing, whatever is its special form, this acceptance of affliction of any sort as for and from Him, is a deep secret of entrance into spiritual intimacy with Christ; into “Knowledge of Him” (Roman 8:17- (its only in sharing in his sufferings that we are able to share in His glory), 2 Corinthians 4:11, Colossians 1:24, 1 Peter 4:13).

As we are therefore rejoicing at the resurrection of our master, let us ask ourselves this question: “Are we only interested in the power of the resurrection or are we also happy to know the fellowship of his suffering? Do we want to share only in His glory and not in His pains? Are we only interested in the crown or also on the cross? May we also strive to know the power of His resurrection and the followship of His suffering. Have a great Easter.

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