“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10–11, NIV84)
“I want to know Christ.” Could there be a more perfect desire? We may think we know Jesus, but is that process ever complete? Can we look up at the stars at night and say that we have seen the stars and understand the galaxy? Of course not. We could get multiple PhD’s and spend our entire lives looking through telescopes and not scratch the surface of the deep complexities of space. How much deeper are the complexities of Jesus Christ! We can, and we should, spend the rest of our lives studying and communicating with Jesus. Jesus is not an idea. He is not a philosophical principle. He is God’s Son who has revealed Himself to us in the human form of Jesus. To know Him is to have a relationship with Him. You know so much about the people closest to you because you have an intimate relationship with them. The same must be true for Jesus. Our relationship with Jesus must continuously grow throughout our lifetime. Obviously, we can foster a maturing relationship with Jesus by being in His Word, praying to Him, by being around His people, by doing His works of love in the world around us. We must commit ourselves to this relationship for it to grow.
And what are the benefits of fostering such intimacy with Jesus? We might grow to understand the power of the resurrection. Because Jesus died on the cross bearing our sins, today God looks down at us and sees us as sinless. His resurrection from the dead assures us that we have been made right with God. It assures us that we can be certain of our own resurrection from the dead. Jesus said to Mary and Martha (at the death of their brother Lazarus): “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) I guess that same question could be asked of us today. Are you certain that because of your faith in Jesus you will not taste death? As certain as Lazarus was not dead but in heaven, so we, because of our faith in Jesus, will not taste death. We will know this world, and then we will know heaven. For this reason alone, we should spend the rest of our lives getting to know Jesus more intimately.