Throughout the life and ministry of Jesus, God’s power was constantly on display. The power of a perfect life, complete victory in an epic spiritual battle with Satan in the wilderness, miracles and signs that accompanied his preaching, words so full of authority and truth that people were amazed at the grace-filled words that came from his mouth. Broken people were reconciled to God through the power of authentic relationships with Jesus. Sinners were graciously forgiven and gloriously freed from addictions by a loving Savior.
The crowning display of God’s power in the life of Jesus was the might He wielded through the Holy Spirit when He raised Jesus from the grave on the first day of the week which we now celebrate as Easter Sunday. King David prophetically penned these words hundreds of years before the advent of Jesus: “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay” (Psalm 16:9-10). The Apostle Peter, on the Day of Pentecost, stood up and recited this Old Testament scripture to thousands of people, declaring that this prophecy finally realized its fulfillment in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter was an eye-witness to this glorious display of God’s power. That day, over three thousand people responded in faith to the preaching of the gospel.
To this very day, the global church of Jesus Christ is a faithful steward of the authority and message of Jesus. We are bearers of resurrection power, the power of the gospel, and the power of transformed lives. This privilege should be accompanied by a powerful response.
We are recipients of His resurrection power, believing in faith that because He lives, we also will live with him for eternity. Resurrection power declares, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). Resurrection power enables us to face each day with a heavenly perspective and a living hope. The Apostle Paul declared, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” (Ephesians 1:18-21, NIV)
Power of the Gospel (God’s Good News for all creation)
We are witnesses and ambassadors of the gospel which brings salvation to all who believe. From our own personal experience we can bear witness to the truth and power of the good news concerning the atoning death, burial and victorious resurrection of our Savior. Jesus Christ himself entrusted this message to His church and gave us authority to share it with the whole world: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NIV). The Apostle Paul declared: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16, NIV)
Power of Transformed Lives
The power of the resurrection and the power of the gospel are displayed daily through transformed lives. The Holy Spirit not only cleanses each sinner who embraces and confesses the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith, He also makes us a completely new creation in Christ. The old is gone. The new has come! We are eternally changed and daily transformed into the image of Jesus as we submit to the indwelling Spirit of God and the Word of God. The Apostle Paul and Zacchaeus are just a few examples of the transforming power of God.
“I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only heard the report: ‘The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’ And they praised God because of me.” (Apostle Paul, Galatians 1:22-24, NIV)
“But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’” (Luke 19:8-10, NIV)
This Easter as we celebrate the resurrection power of Almighty God and glorify our risen Savior, let us remember that Easter weekend is also a time to re-calibrate and surrender anew to Jesus Christ. It is a timely reminder of our calling to share the power of the gospel with a world so desperately in need of hope. It is a day to be deeply grateful for the transforming power of God in our lives and communities. In truth, the resurrection power of Easter is not something we should celebrate once a year. It deserves a powerful response each day as we wake up and embrace the opportunities that God places before us to put His mighty power on display.
Keith West is the founding President of Latitude GLC, a non-profit ministry in Rockwall, Texas. Keith believes his calling is to be a "Barnabas" to the next generation of spiritual leaders.