This Easter: “That I may know Him. . .”
Much of this content is contained in my devotionals delivered to the three places I go each week in an effort to inspire others.
Although Paul was incarcerated in less than admirable conditions when he penned the book of Philippians, the book blooms with joy. The word joy, or a form of joy such as rejoice is mentioned 104 times in the four short chapters of Philippians. The very character of the letter is found in the person of Christ. Aside from knowing Christ, there can be no true joy. Happiness, maybe, but not deep, abiding joy.
In chapter three Paul attests to what he was willing to put behind him; he was an upright Jew, a Pharisee, what we might call a “big wig” in religious affairs. Yet, when he fell before Christ on the Damascus road, all of that fell behind him. All of those religious rituals meant nothing in the light of knowing Christ. When Paul responded to Christ in penitent salvation, every desire of works to gain Heaven left him. He says in verse 8 “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. . .” What Paul thought he knew about Christ was wrong. Jesus was not an imposter as the Pharisees had claimed. You see, Paul knew about Christ, but he did not know Christ.
In Philippians 3:10 we hear an impassioned statement of this converted Jew. “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”
What about us? Me? We might know many things about Christ but do we know Him? This Easter, more than any other, my impassioned cry is also, “That I may know Him. . .” That I might know the power available, that I may experience the suffering of humiliation and rejection and be able to keep on without hesitation, and that I may be willing to be conformed to His death to self. Paul also wrote to the Corinthians in that mostly resurrection treaty, “I die daily.”
Some may claim Christianity and the world around them will never know it. Some may claim Christianity and make a difference because they adhere to the catechism statement that the purpose of life is to know Christ and make him known.