I saw a video a few days about about a man who was pronounced dead, but then the doctor was moved to go back and pray and try one more time to resuscitate the dead patient. The effort was successful, and the man went on to live a happy life, with no evidence of brain damage. This happening is absolutely incredible. something that almost never happens.
What kind of power does it take to raise someone from the dead? No man can do it. Sure, in the hospital they can shock someone back into existence who has been dead a few minutes, but even that is iffy. Circumstances have to be right. No human has the power of life and death.
And Jesus was dead for three days. The longest we’ve ever heard of for someone who is dead to be brought back to life is around 20 minutes. The body of Jesus would probably have started to decay. He wasn’t a computer to be rebooted. Once things in a living creature have shut down, they go into decline. They cannot come back to life. It has never happened.
“Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” (From John 20)
God has the power to reanimate. We are in awe that God could control lightening, tornadoes — the most powerful aspects of weather. We are in awe that He could cause earthquakes, volcanoes; that mountains could rise through His power. But that is nothing compared to the power of LIFE.
Scientists can clone, but they cannot create the spark of life. Even if you believe in evolution, you don’t know how the first simple organisms were brought to life from the “primordial soup.” It is a scientific quandary that no one can replicate.
Today, I am going to get with someone and try to help them by looking at what they are powerless to do, and what they have the power to do. We’ll talk about taking personal responsibility. We’ll talk about the Serenity Prayer.
And it’s important to have this discussion because there are things we are powerless against. There are things that only God can change.
That is why it is so vital to see that Jesus was absolutely dead, and that one of the most powerful things in the whole history of the universe happened. He absolutely came back to life. He wasn’t a ghost or spiritual apparition. He physically came back. They could identify his wounds. He ate.
The power of God goes even further than this, though. God brought Jesus all the way to heaven. He set Jesus above every other power, physical or spiritual. God doesn’t just have the power of life, the greatest power in the world, he has the greatest power in the spiritual realm.
“That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” (Eph 1:19)
So this “incredibly great power” is available to us. That means we can pray and access God’s power on our behalf. There is nothing God can’t do.
And it means that we can have colossal inner power. God can strengthen us so that Christ can dwell in our hearts. (Eph 3:17) We can grasp “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” and be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:18-19)
We have the power to say no to sin. We have the power to persevere through all kinds of challenge and hardship, to be joyful in the toughest circumstances. We have the power to love the unlovable. We have the power to grow in the areas of our character that we felt powerless to change.
God brought Jesus back to life. God has brought each of us who are disciples back from death to life, and our citizenship is in heaven. And the more we die to self, the more the power of the resurrection, the power that takes us not only out of the grave, but all the way to the heights of heaven, can be manifested in us.”
“For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body”. (II Cor 4:11)
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Cor 12:9-10)
The power of the resurrection. Jesus being raised from the dead shattered the limits of human capabilities. How can we live a feeble, normal life? Since we have this power, let us live with strength and boldness. “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Heb 13:6)