Today we will take a final look at the importance of Jesus’ resurrection – and what it means for each of us.
The third fact about the resurrection is that it is the goal of our Christian living. Probably all of us would agree that we are not more committed to the Lord than Paul was. He was an apostle, he had seen the Lord, he had gifts of the Holy Spirit operating in his life, and he had preached and seen wonderful results. We might think that such a person would obviously be a candidate for the resurrection. But Paul did not think so, and his example is worth studying:
…That I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith . . .Philippians 3:8–9
You must have a righteousness from God received by faith. You can be a very religious person, very regular in your church going, you can give generously to charity, but if you do not have God’s righteousness, nothing else will get you into heaven. Paul was very concerned about this.
Then he goes on in verse 10: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. . . .”
In World War II, I served as a Nursing Orderly in the British Royal Army Medical Corps, and sometimes I had to deal with soldiers who had been through battle conditions. I came to see that when men go through a really tough time together, they are bonded to one another in a way that nothing can break—even though they may be very unlike one another in many ways, socially, intellectually or economically. I think that is why Paul said that I might know Him and the fellowship of His sufferings. He wanted to be bonded with Jesus in a way that nothing could break.
One conclusion is clear: Nobody has the right to take it for granted that he will partake of the first resurrection. It is a goal that we have to aim at continually. In this Paul is our example:
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I (…) press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. verses 12–14
We should each cultivate this same attitude as Paul—to press toward the goal, make it our purpose to attain it, and let nothing stand between us and the fulfilment of our purpose. I believe that is the challenge of the resurrection for each of us.
This Reflection is taken from