In a time when we are constantly hearing of the dangers of the Covid-19 virus and being warned to stay out of the crowds, to stay at home and to keep at least 6 feet between you and everyone else, it is easy to fall into a mindset of weakness and fear. It is in such hours of fear that God reminds us that we serve a Lord and Master who not only has unimaginable power but that He makes that power available to us as his children. In Ephesians 1:15-23 Paul prays a powerful prayer on behalf of Christians. He prayed for our enlightenment that we might have wisdom and revelation so we might know God better. “I pray 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 his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly reams, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
God’s power has been demonstrated in a million ways through the creation and sustaining of the creation. But it wasn’t creation or even the amazing miracles Jesus had performed while walking on this earth that God had Paul to appeal to in helping his people grasp the power available to us as his children. He turned to one event and the power that made it possible to show us the things we need to keep clearly before us all the time. He pointed to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. He prayed that we would know of that power and grasp that it is his incomparably great power that is for us.
As we look back at the resurrection of Jesus and thrill over the fact that death and Satan couldn’t hold Jesus, it is vital to see what that means to us in regular life as a Christian. It is wonderful that our sins can be totally forgiven through Jesus and that we have full hope in death, either of our loved ones or of our own death since we are promised resurrection like Jesus. He was the first fruits of those who slept. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ will all be made alive, but each in his own order. Christ the firstfruits and afterward those who are Christ’s when he comes.” In Philippians 3:20 the Holy Spirit led Paul to write, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we look for a Savior, who will change our lowly bodies that they may be fashioned like his glorious body.” The promise that the grave can’t hold us any more than it held Jesus is a tremendous promise.
But in looking at what will happen in the resurrection of the body, we must never take our minds off the amazing resurrection power that is available to us all the time. We don’t live in our own human weakness and fear, but should live in the faith given by resurrection power in us all the time. That same power that raised Christ from the dead, seated him at the right hand of the Father and gave him to be the head of the body, the church which is the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. The very Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is the Spirit who lives in us a God’s children. As a matter of fact, if we don’t have the Spirit of Christ, then we do not belong to him Paul declared in Romans 8.
If there is one verse in the Bible I wish today that we would all memorize and say out loud every day it is in Ephesians 3:20 as part of another prayer Paul prayed for the church. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all that we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” No wonder he goes from that to say, “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
it is a great thing to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. But if all I do is think about the reality of what happened then and fail to see the promises that rise from that resurrection, I’m not getting but part of the message. If there is ever a time we need to live in strength it is now. The world is crying out for faith that won’t wilt when problems arise around us that we don’t have all the answers for. It is a wonderful time to focus on the God of all power who makes his power available to work in and through us every day. LIVE IN HIS MIGHTY STRENGTH!