“I want to know Christ- yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11, NIV).
As we continue in this Lenten Season, we are all likely considering what it means to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ’s sure resurrection on Easter Sunday. The forty days preceding may reflect repentance and sacrifice, and these things to some degree entail a taking on of the sufferings of Christ. How eagerly do we assume this aspect of our identity in Christ? Like Him, are we readily willing to suffer for the sake of Our Father? Do our arms open wide to the suffering of those who need our presence, our Spirit-filled bodies, to offer comfort, hope and assurance of things hoped for but not yet seen?
What keeps resonating in my own heart is that to truly draw near to Christ, is to draw so near to his sufferings that we are ever “becoming like him in his death.” The natural thing is to resist the sorrow and the suffering, yet without fully embracing identity in Christ in the context of suffering is to also forgo truly knowing the “power of his resurrection.”
As we prepare for Easter, let’s lay down our resistance and take up our full identity in Christ. In partaking in His sufferings for a season, may we revel all the more in the eternal glory of His resurrection.
Dear Lord, thank you for loving us so much that you left heaven to be God with us. Without resistance and in total obedience, you fully embraced our human sorrow and bore the weight of sin and death. But that was not all; you rose again and sent your Spirit. You live within us now, still ever near to us, until we see you face to face. From now until we rejoice on Easter Sunday, and until we rejoice finally and always, cause our hearts, minds, words and deeds to follow after yours.
Shaina Blair, who hails from Mableton, Georgia, works for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Shaina has been a member of NACSW since 2005, and a contributor to NACSW’s Prayer Column for several years.