“Christ has risen!” (Matt.28:5) “You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; He is not here” (Mark 16:6). “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here but has risen” (Luke 24:5). These are the biblical explanations to the reality of Jesus’ resurrection noted in the synoptic Gospels.
But one of the responses by Jesus’ followers (not recorded in the biblical record) might have been, “Ok, but what now?” They had received the resurrection proclamation from the women who visited the empty tomb early Easter morning. They had personally seen the glorified Christ “behind shut doors” (John 20:19-30). But, “what now?”
Even after this, the Disciples did not fully comprehend the implications of the resurrection and how it would change their lives forever. The Disciples and the New Testament Church would now face persecution and even death for their belief in Jesus Christ. They would need to depend on resurrection power to achieve Jesus’ commission (Matt. 28:19-20).
Even now, in the 21st century, we as believers must come to terms with how the reality of Jesus’ resurrection impacts our lives every day. To successfully navigate the challenges of today, we need resurrection power.
What is resurrection power?
Resurrection power is the supernatural power God used to raise Jesus from the grave (Eph. 1:19-20). It is this same power that has delivered us from sin’s power and penalty (Rom. 6:14).
Sin kept us in our brokenness and our bondage. It manifested itself in our lives as guilt, shame, and misery. These led us to dark paths of despair, depression, and feelings of hopelessness. However, as new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), we have access to the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the grave (Rom. 8:11). Satan has been crushed. We are free (Col. 2:15).
Although we may be tempted, we are able to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4). Even if we stumble or fall, we know that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:39). We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, our Guarantee, until we arrive in heaven (Eph. 1:13, 14).
Living in the power of the Resurrection
In the final days of His earthly life, Jesus hinted about this resurrection power. He assured His disciples, “he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do” (John 14:12).
The Apostle Paul knew how to live in the power of the resurrection. He wanted to not only “share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings” but also, to know Him and the power of His resurrection (Phil. 3:10). It was through the power of the Holy Spirit that Paul proclaimed the sufficiency of God’s grace through the “power of Christ that would rest on him” (2 Cor. 12:9).
How do 21st century believers live in resurrection power?
The early New Testament church gained its potency through the anointing and indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Through resurrection power, we too, as 21st century disciples, can gain the same strength to accomplish God’s purpose. In addition, it is through this power that we can find personal forgiveness, acceptance, and wholeness.
The Holy Spirit is the source of resurrection power. It is through His presence that we are empowered for service to the Lord (John 16:13-15). The work that has been entrusted to us is destined for success because of the Holy Spirit working within us (Phil. 1:6).
The key to unlocking resurrection power is our willingness to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Cooperation is critical in every endeavor a person may attempt. If we are to live successfully in resurrection power, we must follow Jesus’ example who practiced obedience and humility. Although Jesus was God’s son, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross (Phil 2:8). We must learn to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
Opportunities for resurrection power
Easter is over. Once again, we have received (through every form of media) the resurrection proclamation. We have personally experienced the glorified Christ through our new life in Him. The question we must ask ourselves is, “what now?”
As I look around and reflect on the state of our world, it is more evident than ever, “we need supernatural power” to deal with our challenges. The human needs of the 1st century still exist today. The resurrection power of Jesus Christ is still as powerful as when He rose on Easter morning. And we have access to the same resurrection power today.
Let us begin today to access resurrection power on behalf of our families, our communities, and our nation. Let us courageously intercede on behalf of those experiencing the effects of sin in our world—hate, hurt, and hopelessness (2 Cor. 5:15). Jesus, teach us how to live in your resurrection power TODAY.