Last Resurrection Sunday, we spoke about Revelation 1. I want to stay in that passage one more week and highlight just one verse. I’m sure that the words “The Resurrection Empowered Life” thrill some of my readers and make others of them nervous. I have noticed that some Christians tend to feel that the Christian life will always be a struggle with limited progress. Others believe that the Christian life is to be lived almost as though we are hovering six feet off the ground — from victory to victory.
The verse that speaks to this issue from our chapter is:
“I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus . . .” (Revelation 1:9).
Remember from the context that when we talk about Jesus we are talking about the risen Jesus. As we mentioned earlier in the week, a key aspect of our Christian faith is that we are united with this Jesus. You might expect that in this glorious passage about the risen Jesus we would hear that we, too, are to experience at all times a remarkable sense of resurrection power that will simply solve all our problems in a flash. Not a bit of it. What is in Jesus?
Well, there is “kingdom” — so there IS a sense of glorious victory for us to share in, even here and now — surely that comes from the risen Christ. But there is also tribulation and suffering. The kind of suffering that the dying Jesus makes us think of. There is also endurance — and I like to think that perhaps the life of Jesus should reveal that to us and show us that we are to expect to share in that with Him, too.
There you have it. We DO experience the power of the resurrection and the breaking in of His kingdom. Because of His resurrection, we can pray let “your kingdom come . . . on earth as it is in heaven.” But there will still be suffering. There will still be difficulties — which is where the whole book of 2 Corinthians comes in so strongly. In the midst of those difficulties and spurred on by the taste of resurrection power that we are experiencing, God wants to teach us to endure and be faithful.
As we consider the resurrection, remember this is not so that we might become unreal — people who never face the facts that hardships will come our way. But we ARE connected to a secret source of power to help us endure, of which the world knows nothing.