“I want to know Christ-yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Phil. 3:10-11).
Paul reminds us here of something that many of us would prefer to forget: that to know Christ involves both happiness and hardship, new life and present death, grace and grit. Paul’s understanding is that we simply cannot have the power of new life without the pain of personal death, and the corresponding suffering that accompanies it. That suffering may take many forms, but Paul reminds us that to faithfully endure in it is to become like Jesus in his death, and so, somehow, to follow Him into new life.
May we be those who do not shirk from this, and who do not seek a gospel of cheap grace that denies the path of the cross.