There are a lot of powerful things in this world. How my wife and I (she gets up more than me) have the power to get up routinely in the middle of the night to calm an upset baby is still baffling to me. How I can actually have a conversation on a cell phone is still amazing. How a dam can power and provide electricity for a city is an engineering feat. How a baseball player can throw a ball at speeds of 100 mph is ridiculous and too fast for a ball to travel.
These things are amazing, but they are still fathomable. I can see how a baseball player can work hard enough and perform at that level. I can see how engineers are able to design turbines that produce energy. I can understand how Apple uses electricity to construct iPhones that communicate. I can see how the love of a parent compels them to comfort their children at night.
But, what is unfathomable is the power that raised Jesus back to life. I don’t have any earthly explanation of a power that is great enough to explain it. My first instinct is to negate the fact it happened and deny its truth, like the Pharisees. After all, Doctor Frankenstein can try all he wants to create life, but no man has ever been able take a corpse and breathe life into it, right?
This raises the question: Does Jesus’ resurrection in the Gospels continually give us a sense of awe? Have we become so accustomed to the stories in scripture that we are no longer amazed at the power of God? We have Jesus that rose from the grave, but what kind of power resurrected him from the grave? This power makes the 100 mph fastball and the iPhone look like chump change.
Ephesians 1:18-20 says:
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.”
Romans 8:10-11 says:
“But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”
You mean to say that God made a way for us to be with him? But, what about all those awful things we have done? When we sin, death is the result. We cannot enter into the presence of a Holy God being in the condition that we are in. I can try all I want to “work” at being good, but the harder I try to be good, the more the depth of my sin is revealed. Romans 7 is a testament to our powerlessness, but Christ’s strength.
His death, burial, resurrection and ascension has credited, for those who place their faith in him, the joy of communing with the Father. We don’t just commune as sinful souls, but Romans 8 says that we are dead from sin, but the Spirit makes us alive! The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is living inside us! Therefore, there is power to resurrect our lives from: addictions, broken relationships, our sinful habits, our dirty minds, etc. If the same Spirit lives in us, then there is power to break the chains of sin.
Are we so deceived that we still think that we are able to be good apart from Christ? Do we see Christ’s work on the cross as enough, or do we think that he’s not powerful enough to change our lives? He has the power, but are we aware of our need for resurrection?