We ended Good Friday on a somber note. Jesus’ followers were both terrified of being arrested and in complete shock, sorrow, and disbelief. The chief priests and religious leaders were relieved to have Jesus removed from their midst. Satan and his minions must have been beside themselves with glee. But little did they all know- Sunday was coming. Resurrection power was going to be unleashed!
What is Resurrection Power?
The short answer: the power of God to raise Jesus from the dead. But it doesn’t end there.
Jesus tells Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead grants us eternal life with Him- if we believe.
Same Power that Raised Jesus from the Dead
Paul prays for the faithful believers in Ephesus that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know… his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised him for the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:18-20.
Paul uses the Greek word for this great power- “dynamis”- which is where our English word “dynamite” comes from. This power is “incomparably great”- so potent and powerful that our imaginations can’t fathom it- but He releases it for us to use anyway.
You and me- insignificant and imperfect in so many ways- are gifted this power. His Holy Spirit comes to live within us, which gives us access.
That sounds a bit scary to me- but rest assured- it’s not “switched on” by any works or words of our own.
The Power of His Resurrection
Jesus was victorious over sin and death in the spiritual realm, but sin and death still have a hold on our physical bodies.
“If Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10.
The power that resurrected Jesus from the dead resurrects us into a new life. It begins at the moment, when, in faith, we accept His sacrifice on our behalf.
God made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our sins. It is only possible because of His unending mercy and great love for us (Ephesians 2:4-5) The power of His resurrection guarantees that God will resurrect us to eternal life in heaven when we die.
In the meantime, He also gives us His “dynamite” power to live as Christians in the here and now. That means we have the power of the resurrection available to us every moment of our day.
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Living in the Power of the Resurrection
So it’s pretty clear, right? His sacrifice washes us clean, and His mighty power lives within us as His Holy Spirit. But how do we use His power? And when? For what purpose?
Paul expressed the same desire to live the resurrected life:
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection.” Philippians 3:10.
He wanted to understand how this power would work in his life. Believers have a new life (Romans 6:4) through the resurrection, but Paul wanted to know how to experience His power in a tangible way within his new life.
What we don’t have to do:
Develop better habits
Become the best version of ourselves
Grit our teeth and keep pushing forward
(All good, but not the key we need to unlock His treasures.)
Living a Resurrected Life
This power is within us right now. When we know this in our hearts and believe it, it is ready to use. Begin by:
•Evaluating your life- our old life is gone. That is a promise and a gift we receive through faith! The power of the resurrection helps us make new decisions and choices that align with God’s plan for our individual lives. What sins do we need to overcome? What fruit should we cultivate?
•Making Jesus #1 in your life- above all else. This will be fully possible when we arrive in His presence in Heaven. Until then, we are a work in progress. We keep our eyes on things above instead of the useless worldly things we cherish or that momentarily catch our eye. His power helps us to reject temptation.
•Know Him through a dynamic personal relationship. Read and study His Word consistently to understand the person of Jesus.
We love and understand our best friends here on earth because we talk and share and spend copious amounts of time with them. Invest this same time with Jesus, speak to Him often. Know Him as your King, your Redeemer, your Protector, your Shepherd, the list goes on and on!
Speak to Him often, listen for His guidance. His power reveals to us the knowledge of God. Ask for His insights, guidance, and wisdom!
•Confess your sin regularly and freely knowing that through His resurrection power we can claim His forgiveness, grace, and mercy.
•Trust in His love and power, no matter what trial comes. He tells us over and over to “fear not.” He is on your side, will lead you through, and help you become more Christ-like. His power gives us the strength to achieve all these things.
The Resurrection Power of Jesus Christ
Jesus’ resurrection was a fulfilled promise from God and an invitation to put our trust in Him, and live new lives built on His love and power.
That’s one thing that makes Easter such a special celebration. It reminds us we have said “Yes” to Him and share in His victory. We live knowing that His love and power in our lives will allow us to never lose hope– no matter what trial, suffering, or persecution we face.
We are an Easter People
While the author of the term “Easter people” is up for debate, it refers to the transformation we undergo thru the power of Jesus’ resurrection. We are alive anew with a firm belief that we are on our way to eternal life in heaven. Not only are our sins forgiven, but we are also no longer slaves to sin.
Easter people live to imitate the life of Jesus. Our perspective changes from what we desire into what God desires for us. Our lives have a new eternal direction and purpose. It truly makes us a unique population!
When Jesus came to the disciples after His resurrection, He found them cowering behind locked doors. His first words to them were, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19. There were no words of shame for deserting and denying Him. They had no reason to fear. He had risen!
He then “breathed on them” (John 20:22) giving them the gift of the Holy Spirit and the resurrection power to do His will on earth. They were the first Easter people! He gave them a mission to go out and spread the Good News. Christ had risen indeed!
The Resurrected Life
We are an Easter people living in a fallen world and that will never change. Sickness and disasters, broken relationships, poverty, wars, and persecution will always be present. Some of those things may even affect our own lives.
Jesus is counting on us to show others His way of life. By His power, our words and actions can show faith, love, mercy, and forgiveness. When we follow His examples and reflect His love, we show others how to overcome the troubles this life throws at us.
We have this resurrection power to use every day. Trust in His power and keep building your life with Him as the foundation. Easter people treat every person they encounter as if they were Jesus Himself:
“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” Matthew 25:37-39.
We are so blessed! We live with a hope and a future revealed to us through Jesus. Let’s celebrate the hope of Easter and the Resurrection each day, all year long.
“Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade- kept in Heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:3-4.
All Scripture is from the NIV unless otherwise specified.