7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Therefore, my brothers [and sisters], whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. (Php. 3:1-11; 4:1, ESV)
This is the Word of God.
That was a portion of a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to some friends in Philippi (which, today, is northeastern Greece) around 2,000 years ago. We’ve been studying it in our services as we’ve gathered this Holy Week: first on Palm Sunday; then on Good Friday; and then, once again, on Easter Sunday morning.
As we’ve done so, I have been so encouraged by Paul’s absolute confidence and belief in the person and work of Jesus, the Messiah. And listen, it’s not that Paul never faltered, or wavered, or had times of discouragement, despair, and doubt: he did. Just read his letters to Corinth. It’s just that in this letter we see Paul at his happiest, his boldest, his most confident. In the ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of life, this one is definitely an ‘up’. Which is quite ironic, right, since he is imprisoned as he writes.
For our focus on Easter Sunday, as we did on Friday evening, we are going to hone in on verses ten and eleven:
…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
On Good Friday, we saw how Paul’s life—all his striving and pressing on and energies, everything— was that he might “attain the resurrection from the dead” (3:11). Paul wants to beat death. And we looked at how knowing Jesus, and sharing in his sufferings, and becoming like him in his death, was the pathway to achieve the resurrection from the dead.
For our Easter study, we’ll look at the other aspect of the pathway, “the power of his resurrection.” And in so doing, what I want you to see, and what I want you to know at the end our our study together is what this sentence means:
The Resurrection of Jesus is
a fact to believe,
and a power to live.
I invite you now to watch or listen to my Easter Sunday sermon from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. And if you’d like some additional resources on this book, head on over to the Bible Project page for this part of the Whole Story.
May God use his Word to inspire you to help just one other person move one step closer to Jesus.