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On The Upper Room Discourse Re-Release For Lent 2024

Resurrection Power

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know…what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God* put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead.
Ephesians 1:17-20

“So what?” My professor recommended writing those two words, “So what?”, at the conclusion of every sermon. “So what?”, I ask you, does the wonderful Easter sermon you heard mean for you today? “So what?”, does saying “He is risen!” mean for you getting back to making a living and making a life? What does Easter mean for you in the nitty-gritty routine of today? “So what?”                                                                                                              

On these first days after Easter, I like to reflect on today’s scripture in which Paul spells out the significance, the practical “So what?” of Christ’s resurrection. Paul kneels in a Roman prison praying for believers to know the significance; the same power that raised Jesus from the dead on Easter Sunday is available to them on Monday morning.                                             

Notably, Paul does not pray more power for them, but prays they might know the mighty power they already possess: “so that, with eyes of your heart enlightened, you know…what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe.” Paul explains that power as the power God “put to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead.” It is resurrection power at work in them!                                                                

With the development of the steam engine in the early nineteenth century, a way was needed to describe the power of that steam engine. It was decided to describe that power by comparing it to the power of draft horses a steam engine would replace. Hence, they came up with thirty horsepower, or fifty horsepower, and so forth.                                                 

How does Paul describe “the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe”? He describes it as “resurrection power.” The power available to every believer on these days after Easter is the power God put to work on Easter Sunday.                                                                                   

American minister Phillips Brooks, and author of “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” spoke to the “So what” of the Easter Good News: “The great Easter truth is not that we are to live newly after death, but that we are to be new here and now by the power of the resurrection.”                               

This power of the resurrection is the power Jesus promised us: “Because I live, you also shall live” [John 14:19]. The Good News of Easter is not only that God raised Jesus from the dead, but that God raises us up in power for whatever we face today. Paul expands on Jesus’ promise in his letter to the Romans: “He who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwells in you” [Romans 8:11].                 

So today, as you care for a sick loved one, struggle to pay bills, try to make it through school, or to tell others about Jesus…. I pray that you know “the immeasurable greatness” of God’s power in you who believe. You have resurrection power!

A fellow traveler,

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