The Transforming Power of the Resurrection

April 28, 2011

Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.  John 20:8

And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”  John 20:22-23

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”  John 20:28

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.  John 21:17

My studies are in John’s gospel right now, and none of the gospels demonstrates the practical effects of the resurrection more beautifully than John’s.  He portrays so very well the fragile, confused disciples hiding in the upper room out of fear of the Jewish leaders…the very human Peter, cowardly denying Christ…mere shadows of the men who would eventually have the responsibility of continuing the revolution Christ began.  Take a moment and compare the Peter in John 19 with the Peter in Acts 4.  The transformation is God-sized.

That, it seems to me, is the power of the resurrection.  Without it, we still have atonement for sins, we still have Christ’s teachings and his ministry, and but for all of the unfulfilled prophecies we would have, we still have scripture.  But without the transforming power of the resurrection, we would not have a church today.  Without the evidence that Christ lives, even today, we would not have a testimony of a living Savior.  Without the resurrection, Peter, James and John most likely all return to their obscure lives as fishermen, all of them surely impacted but none of them truly transformed.

However, with the resurrection, these virtually unremarkable, uneducated disciples became the passionate, Spirit-filled leaders of the most powerful revolution the world has ever seen, and their impact continues to grow stronger every day, even 2,000 years later.  The metamorphosis we read about in them is astounding.

What is even more amazing is that the transforming power of the resurrection is still transforming people today.  It is transforming you and me.  In fact, for the people you know, the clearest evidence that Christ is alive and active in the world today is the transformation they see in YOUR LIFE.  Your story and my story and the stories of millions of Christ followers around the world today are the clearest evidence of the resurrection.

Paul said it this way in his letter to the Philippian church: “I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection…”  Phil. 3:10.

Today, as you walk through your day, will your life tell the story of that power?  Will your story be one of advancing this revolution?  Will your church’s story be part of it as well?

© Blake Coffee

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