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Improbable Joy – Philippians 3:10-11 (Resurrection Sunday)

Apr 2, 2024

Paul cared deeply about the gospel. In 1 Cor 15:3-4 he said, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures. That He was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”

In Phil 3:10 Paul writes, “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection.” The power that raised Christ up from the dead now operates in our lives since we haven been “raised with Christ”. His resurrection power in you can break every addiction, can break the shame, can destroy bondages, can break the stronghold of lust, can restore your marriage, and can break the hold of anxiety and depression.

Verse 11 says, “and may share in his sufferings, becoming like him in death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” It would be easy for us to skip over the suffering part, but it doesn’t work that way. If we follow the Man of Sorrows, we too, will walk through suffering and sorrow. If you want to know Christ more than anything in life, and if it’s through suffering for Him that you’ll know Him better, it will be worth it, and you will actually find joy in it.

This doesn’t mean that we should suffer on the cross. That was for Jesus alone. Instead, this means that suffering for the gospel brings us closer to Jesus. Suffering doesn’t have to weaken our faith, it can actually serve to make it stronger.

“Becoming like him in his death” means to be conformed inwardly in our experience to something or someone. In other words, as Christ died for sin, we have died to sin. It goes on to say, “I may attain the resurrection from the dead”. This resurrection power has two phases. First, at conversion, we experience the power of a spiritual resurrection and given a new life. Second, our resurrection occurs when Jesus comes back and we are gathered to Him.

Why does the resurrection give us joy?

  1. Without the resurrection, we are still in our sin. (1 Cor 15:17-19)
  2. His resurrection guarantees ours. (1 Cor 15:20-21)
  3. We have the joyful hope of reunion with Jesus and with all those who have passed away before and after us. He did what He said He would do. This means that He will also come back because He promised that He would!


  1. Where do you have suffering in your life? How does this bring you closer to Jesus?
  2. Spend time today thanking Him for always keeping His promises. Worship Him for who He is and what He did for you!