The Power of His Resurrection
Sharon W. Betters
That I may know him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death (Philippians 3:10).
I stood in front of our library, shelves filled with my husband’s books, looking for a commentary on Philippians. Every week I taught a women’s Bible study, and our current series was a verse by verse study of this tiny but mighty book. Sometimes I wonder who I thought I was, in my early thirties, mother of four young children. What qualified me to teach such holy truths? Yet how grateful I was years later when scriptures planted in my heart from those studies exploded like little sticks of dynamite at exactly the moments I desperately needed God’s truths to keep me from falling. I needed His unchangeable Word to guide my every step and steady my emotions.
This particular morning, I read Philippians 3:8-11, and the message overwhelmed me. A Christian author and speaker I greatly admired quoted this scripture as she shared the resurrection power she experienced in the darkest of days. I envied her intimacy with Jesus and longed to know Him as she did. Tears welled up as I read this scripture again and felt the Lord leading me to pray:
“Lord, I want to know You intimately and the power of Your resurrection in my life, but frankly, I fear the fellowship of Your sufferings, but I realize the only pathway to resurrection is through death. I know I must die to self in order to experience life, and this thought terrifies me. With my will, against my fear of suffering, I ask You to reveal the power of Your resurrection in my life.”
I had no idea what the answer to this prayer would look like, but oh, how many times this “come to Jesus” moment strengthened my faith and desire to walk with confidence, the pathway on which God had placed me. What is this power Paul speaks of?
Our grandkids love superhero movies. Marvel and DC have zeroed in on their hunger for heroes, where the good guy or girl defeats the evil villain. Typically, these movies showcase someone who doesn’t know superpowers reside in him or her. Once they know, they must learn how to use their powers and then decide if they will use them for good or evil. And there is always a villain driven by jealousy and the goal of defeating the real heroes.
If you are a child of God, super-power resides in you – it’s resurrection power. We experience resurrection power when the Holy Spirit opens our hearts to the need for our Savior Jesus. When we repent of our sins, and Jesus forgives us, we are moved from death to life. Though our bodies die, our spirits will live on – we have eternal life.
But that is not the end of the story of resurrection power. The Greek word for power is dunamis. Dunamis comes from the root word dunamai, which means to be able or possible, miraculous power, ability, might, and strength. Dunamai is the root word for dynamite (a powerful explosive), dynamo (generates energy power), and dynamic (powerful).
Jesus came to earth filled with this power, this powerful, explosive, energy-producing power. This power (dunamis) of God came over Mary at His conception (Luke 1:35).
Just before Jesus entered His public ministry, He went into the wilderness for 40 days, allowing Satan to tempt Him. He returned from the wilderness “in the power (dunamis) of the Holy Spirit”, Luke 4:14. Jesus revealed this power as He interacted with people, healing and transforming hearts, Luke 6:19. Romans 1:4 tells us that after Jesus ascended, God declared Him “to be the Son of God with power (dunamis) according to the spirit of holiness”.
The women who followed Jesus not only saw this power flow from their Messiah, they experienced its life-giving work personally. But more was to come. Before He ascended into Heaven, He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem because, at just the right time, they would…
“Receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Dear sisters, this same power resides in us if we love Jesus:
Now to him who is able (dunamai) to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or conceive, by the power (dunamis) which is at work among us…(Ephesians 3:20).
When we repent of our sins and experience forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts, coming with the promise of permanence. He will never leave us. Dunamis power still lives, and it is at work in our lives. Once we discover its presence, our task and priceless privilege is to learn how it works by soaking in the Word and resting in the presence of Jesus – just as the women of the resurrection did.
Oh Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there’s just something about Your name. Today we think about the name Immanuel, God with us. You are with us, and Your power lives in us, like tiny sticks of dynamite, ready to explode with Your grace. Show us what resurrection power looks like in our lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sharon W. Betters is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pastor’s wife, and cofounder of MARKINC Ministries, where she is the Director of Resource Development. Sharon is the author of several books, including Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness, and co-author with Susan Hunt of Aging with Grace. She is the co-host of the Help & Hope podcast and writes Daily Treasure, an online devotional.
For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.