Week 5 - Philippians 3:10-11

Week 5 – Philippians 3:10-11:  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Rubbish, Righteousness, and Resurrection. These are the 3 Rs’ that summarize what we see in Philippians 3:7-11. In other words, if the value of Christ is understood with the correct perspective (v.8), and if gaining Christ establishes us in His righteousness, and promises that we will join in His resurrection (vv.9-10), then we will hold the value of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord as the most important reality in every context. Paul recognizes that even suffering (v.10) in Christ’s name immerses us even deeper into knowing Christ, which is our ultimate and invaluable gain.  

Do you ever meditate on the lengths Jesus went to as He came to identify Himself with His people? It can be somewhat unfathomable, even incomprehensible that He would clothe His divinity with a cloak of humanity. He condescends to meet us where we are and save us. He becomes obedient as a man and learns it by what He suffers (Hebrews 5:8). Paul reminds us just one chapter earlier that He was obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Php. 2:8) In doing so, He became despised, rejected, ridiculed, mocked, laughed at, hated, beaten and crucified. Simply put, He became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). What was His gain for identifying with His people – JOY!

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

He did not enjoy the suffering, but He did look through it to where it was leading. For what would be granted to His people and what was awaiting Him at the right hand of God, He identified with His people and suffered for it. What happens when we identify with Him? We become righteous, we become unceasingly hopeful in the resurrection, but we also become sufferers.

Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. (John 15:20)

Paul wants to be identified with Christ more intensely than anyone I have ever heard of. He is willing to share in His suffering, being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, so that he may know more of what it means to identify with Him. He hopes that death, maybe even a daily dying to self, will bring about the ultimate gain: seeing that which he counted as ultimate gain, Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)

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