I had the privilege of preaching the Easter sermon at the North Wayne Mennonite Church this morning. We looked at the gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus in light of Paul’s statement in Philippians 3.
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow,to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:10-11
When it comes to knowing Christ, what are some ways that we can experience “the power of his resurrection” in our everyday life? I addressed four of those areas as we considered overcoming the TOMB areas of our life.
Turmoil It is hard to read the resurrection accounts without noticing the turmoil that existed in the lives and minds of the followers of Jesus. The death and burial of Jesus seems to have caught all of his followers by surprise even though he had been telling them this was about to happen. Their approach to the tomb was filled with more questions than answers. The power of the resurrection teaches us that there is hope and joy beyond the turmoil that exists in our life. Jesus tells us that in this world we will have troubles, or turmoil, but to take courage as he has overcome the world.
Obstacles As the women approached the tomb to finish the burial process and anoint the body of Jesus, they were concerned about the obstacle they would face. Who would roll away the stone? There is a lesson here that we must learn for when we face the obstacles in our life. The women went to the tomb to do what needed done even though they didn’t know how they would get beyond the obstacle of the stone. How often do we quit, give up, or not even start something that God would have us do simply because the obstacle looks bigger than us? The power of the resurrection shows us that we must walk by faith and not by sight. Jesus has power that even defeats the obstacle of death as his blood brings us life and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
Mundane Often more deadly and entrapping in our life than the turmoil and obstacles are the mundane things of daily life. It was the mundane and ordinary things that kept the followers of Jesus from even considering that he could be alive. They were expecting the usual and customary results — someone dies, you bury them, and the body will still be there whenever you return. It was the mundane details of life, and having a guest, that kept Martha from enjoying the very presence of Jesus when he paid a visit to her home. The power of the resurrection teaches us that the mundane everyday tasks should pale in comparison to living in fellowship with Jesus. God calls us to live a life in passionate pursuit of him that will not be distracted by the busyness and mundane tasks of life. Yes, the mundane details of life will still exist but the resurrection teaches us to keep them in a proper perspective in our life.
Baggage Too often we carry things in life that keep us from enjoying the freedom and fullness of life that Jesus offers us through a relationship with him. Jesus left the wrappings of the grave cloths, the baggage, behind as they were no longer important or necessary. Some of our baggage is bad — harmful, sinful things that separate us from a healthy relationship with God through Jesus. For many though, much of our baggage consists of good things that left unchecked crowd out our time and pursuit of knowing Christ and the power of his resurrection. In Philippians, Paul writes of his credentials and accomplishments that would stack up favorably against anyone of his peers. But when compared to the “surpassing greatness of knowing Christ”, it is all rubbish — baggage that would easily get in the way of a relationship with God that is more valuable than anything else. The power of the resurrection teaches us that Christ-like life can not be lived while still wearing the grave-clothes, the baggage, of our dead life.
So, how are you doing at allowing the power of the resurrection to overcome the TOMB that you experience each day? I pray that the power of the living God, through His Spirit, will equip you to know Christ and the power of his resurrection not only on this Easter day, but every day of life that you live on this earth.