That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death;
I. AS A FACT. That is our faith. Your philosophers who do not believe in miracle do not believe it possible, because they do not allow that God can interfere with, and is above the system He arranged. But we believe that God who made the world administers His own laws and interposes if He thinks fit. The power of the resurrection, proving the truth of Christianity as a whole, proves its exclusiveness as a system of Divine thought which is to constitute the religion of man.
II. AS A DOCTRINE. The fact enshrines a thought. Simply considered as a fact, having power over the reason, as a part of the evidence of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus is the same as that of Lazarus. But as a doctrine it is very different. "Jesus died," according to the Scriptures, and according to the Scriptures "He rose again." It is the fulfilment of a Divine purpose; and its power is an appeal to our spiritual nature, our conscience, and sense of guilt.
III. AS A TYPE. As Christ died and rose, we are to die to sin and live to God, "as those who are alive from the dead."
IV. AS A MOTIVE. Observe how these thoughts interweave. The resurrection as a fact operates upon the intellect and gives assurance of truth; as a doctrine it deepens the truth and touches consciences and expresses reconciliation with God; as a type, we rising from the dead and walking with Christ — that is the developed experience of the Christian man in the life of God. Christ was not glorified immediately. He lived for forty days a different life from His former one. So must we under the power of the resurrection. Christ is risen, therefore "Seek those things that are above."
V. AS A MODEL (ver. 21). Conclusion: These transcendental thoughts, so far from unfitting us for the sober duties of life, ennoble and beautify life. A servant girl may act on a principle which may bring her into harmony with the angels. You need not wait for Sunday to engage in Divine service. You have but to realize in the shop or the market the power of the resurrection.
(T. Binney, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;