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Resurrection Power

I love Resurrection Sunday. For me it is the highlight of the Church year.

Friday is a solemn time of remembering what Jesus achieved for us on the
cross of Calvary. However, Sunday is a time of great rejoicing as we
acknowledge that He is alive and that we too have eternal life.

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the fulcrum on which our Christian
faith rests. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14 that "if Christ has not been
raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith "(NIV). All a sceptic needs
to do is disprove the fact of the resurrection and the Christian faith
collapses. But two millennia have passed and the resurrection of Jesus
Christ still stands uncontested! It is not that many have not tried to disprove
the resurrection. However, try as they might, the Gospel witness remains
reliable and any historical evidence to the contrary significantly absent.

The fact that Jesus rose from the dead is evidence of His divinity, but it is also
evidence of the indescribable power of God the Holy Spirit. Paul prayed
that we might know "hisincomparably great power for us who believe" and
then described this power as "like the working of his mighty strength, which
he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead..." Ephesians 1:19-20
(NIV). First Paul describes the extent of God's power and then he relates it
to us.

In the Greek, Ephesians 1:19 describes God's incomparable power with four
specific words. The first word is Dunamis, translated into English with words
such as force, ability, or capability. The second word is Energeia, translated
as energy or efficiency. The next word is Kratos, strength, might, and
manifest power. The last word is Ischus, meaning inherent power. One
word just cannot describe the extent of God's strength, so the Bible
describes it as incomparably great force, ability, capability, energy,
efficiency, strength, inherent and manifest power. So much more
descriptive than the theological term omnipotence is it not?

Paul then states that God demonstrated His great power by raising Jesus
Christ from the dead. On that first Resurrection Sunday, the battered and
mortally damaged body of Jesus of Nazareth came alive. The same power
that spoke creation into existence not only reanimated Jesus' physical body,
but transformed Him into gloriously eternal physicality. For forty days the
glorified Lord of creation lived among His followers and taught them things
concerning the Kingdom of Heaven. Then He ascended from this earthly
realm and took His place at the Fathers side.

What is really surprising about Paul's prayer is not so much how he describes
God's power, but who he identifies as its current recipients. J.B.Phillips
translates part of verse nineteen as "how tremendous is the power available
to us who believe in God." In the context of Paul's prayer, that's us

Christians, right?! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is
available to us! Paul's prayer came well after Pentecost, so it's the ongoing
church he had in mind, not just the first disciples. I am so very grateful for this
because without `power from on high' how could we live holy lives, let alone
minister effectively.

So, this Resurrection Sunday I am going to pray something like this: "Thank
you Lord Jesus for paying the price of my rebellion at Calvary. Thank you
Holy Spirit for raising Christ from the dead to reign forever at the Fathers side.
Thank you that in His resurrection I have eternal life. Thank you too almighty
God that you have made your great power available to me so that I can live
and minister to your glory. Amen” I invite you to join me in this prayer.