J. Grant Swank, Jr.
". . .power. . .by the resurrection from the dead. . ." Romans l:4
Paul combines empty tomb power with spiritual victorious living as he greets the Roman community.
It is the death on the cross that continues its weaving into the resurrection power. One can only arrive in the might of Christ's resurrection by first knowing the cross commitment.
Many want the resurrection glory but will not pay the price of the crucifixion. This is cheap religion at its most repulsive display.
However, since the world is spiritually fallen, its composition is first pain and then pleasure. There can be no divine pleasure without first experiencing the cross pain. It is come upon because of the betrayal handed Creator God by Adam and Eve. Eden has seen to that.
All the more then the disciple praises heaven's throne for the chronology provided. It is the cross, then the resurrection. It is resurrection only when one first goes under the timber. One cannot have the one without the other; one cannot experience the relief of the one without first undergoing the trial of the other. There is an order in all divine matters.
However, being on this side of the risen Christ, we know that each trial has its own resurrection glow. We look back to the Calvary event followed by the First Day radiance to know that our Savior is zenith power. He is overcoming victory. He is the ultimate statement.
So it is with each dedicated biography. The last segment of each consecration is written by the One who stood in the garden to welcome Mary. Then the last word of the eventual finality is penned by the same winning Amen.
Even now when going through the cross suffering, one believes in the depths that the power is at work.
At Calvary, the power was at work; it appeared as if there were no divine weight to that Friday afternoon. However, heaven was indeed prodding about the cross base, seeing through the burial detail, taking note of the Roman seal, watching over the young Man's corpse laid upon the stone.
God's power is always at work in the most minute detail of each surrendered cross. The world looking on calls you failure. Often weak-willed disciples looking on say the same, even with sincere sympathy, but nevertheless, in that humanness they reveal their lack of faith. Only the truly cross experienced have traveled far enough up the mount to know for sure that there is no cross without the divine power at work in everything.
Believe even this moment that what you are wrestling with is impregnated with divine might. It may seem just the opposite. That is fine; do not look to the outward appearance. Illusions abound. Temporary is tempting even the best of us to conclude that it is permanent.
Keep faith eyes upon the scene and you will eventually witness the resurrection power. It must be so for it is a primary postulate of deity. He has lived it. He has woven it into His scheming for good. He has proven this holy character repeatedly in all surrendered cross lives.