“…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.”
Philippians 3:10-11 ESV
Many of us who live our lives as Christians set for ourselves the goal of “living like Christ”. We look to Christ as our great example of how to “live”. Now I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing, to imitate Christ in our lives is a great thing, something that is commanded in Scripture, yet we must understand first and foremost, to live like Christ is to die to ourselves. We should desire, and strive to “live” like Christ, but that in itself means that we must desire, and strive to die like Christ. That was Paul’s desire, and it must be our desire as well. Paul said he wanted to “know him and the power of his resurrection” but Paul understood very well that was impossible if he did not become like Christ in his death, and in his sufferings. That is how we attain the “power of his resurrection” that is how we are able to “know him(Christ)” and that is how we are able to “live” like Christ.
*Just as a side not, when I say we must be willing to die like Christ, or become like Christ in His death, I am not saying we must all die on a cross, or even give our lives as a martyr (though we should be willing to do that if need be), but what I am speaking of is more of what it says in Galatians 5:24, to “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires…” or Romans 12:1, to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice…” Basically what I am speaking of is to die to ourselves, so that we can live for Christ (See 2 Corinthians 5:14-17)
Are we really willing to “die” like Christ? Is our hearts desire really to “know” Him? Are we really willing to “share in His sufferings” do we really want to become like Him? When spoken of like this, is the Christian life more or less desirable to you? Take some time to think about it, I know I will…
“…And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:8 ESV