The Unbeliever and the Acorn
Mar 23, 2016 1224
By Eliezer Gonzalez
In Italy is the centuries-old grave of an unbeliever. Before he died, he ordered a huge stone slab for his grave to prevent him from being raised from the dead if there was, after all, a resurrection. The sign announced: “I do not want to be raised from the dead. I don’t believe in it.”
A hundred years later an acorn had pushed through the slab and grown into a towering oak tree. A visiting minister took in the scene, asking himself, “If an acorn, which has power of biological life in it, can split a slab like that, what can the acorn of God’s resurrection power do in a person’s life?”
This story, told by Tim Keller, reveals the powerful truth that is expressed in [Phil 3:10]: “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead” (NLT).
When you know Christ you will experience his mighty resurrection power. Paul refers specifically to the resurrection of the dead at the last day, but also about how that certainty changes our present. When, by faith, we accept Christ’s death and resurrection on our behalf, it inspires and empowers us to press on towards the heavenly prize (v.14), because we are citizens of heaven (v.20).
Paul writes with tears in his eyes (v.18). We can no longer act as enemies of the cross (v.18), for the very righteousness of God is offered to us through faith in Christ (v.9). We can no longer love sin.
To be resurrected with Christ, we must suffer with him (v.10). Often, we like the “resurrection” part, but we don’t like the “dying” part. But self must die so that Christ may reign.
When we have died to sin and risen to new life, we will start loving God and hating sin. We will turn in confession and repentance to Christ every time we fall, and wonderful fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:20) will slowly but surely start to be produced in our lives.
There is a resurrection from the dead at the last day. But the person who has not died and been raised to new life in Christ – in this life – will never experience it. For today, the mighty resurrection power of Christ is shed abroad to all who believe; to all who are righteous through faith in Him; to all who know Christ….