To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ … Eph 3:8
Jesus Christ was raised from the dead (1 Cor 15:4, 1 Pet 1:21). The empty tomb is an indisputable fact of history. His resurrection separates Christianity from all other religions. Jesus was resurrected into more than merely a resuscitated mortal body; in some ways it was the same as his physical body, in that it was recognizable as such, but it was a gloriously superior, transformed body. Coming through death with sovereign power, Christ entered into an imperishable, never-ending life. Just as the resurrection changed the literal body of Jesus forever, His resurrection also transforms everything else in the universe! The resurrection is not merely a dry doctrine about a past event, but it is a promise that the life of the risen Christ completely transforms our lives this very day. We must know this truth.
In Ephesians 1:18-21, Paul prayed, “… that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places …” The resurrection of Jesus Christ provides us with the prototype of God’s power – an infinite power – which we are told is directed toward us who believe. This is a power that is not merely effective for our future bodily resurrection, but one that works in us, here and now. By the same power which God created the universe and conquered death, He has raised us from our spiritual death. This power is demonstrated in the present life of every Christian, as he is made a new creation and the old things pass away, all things becoming new.
All of Ephesians chapter 2 is Paul’s description of God’s exceeding great power in raising individual people to new life, and putting them together in Christ’s church. This mystery of the gospel was revealed to Paul, who became its steward and minister. Paul was empowered to preach this gospel to the Gentiles – a gospel which Paul calls, “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8). There is perhaps no greater description of the gospel than this! The Gospel is Christ Himself! As we proclaim the Gospel, we proclaim Christ in all of His glory and unsearchable riches. We present Him as the great high priest, ascended to the right hand of God living to make intercession for His people (Rom 8:34, Heb 7:25). We proclaim Him as the One who has gained victory over the grave, whom God raised, giving Him glory (1 Pet 1:21). We declare that God has highly exalted Him, giving Him the name that is above every other name (Phil 2:9). Christ’s resurrection assures us of His future work on behalf of His people – His authority over everything in the universe (Matt 28:18); His advocacy with God the Father (1 Jn 2:1); His comforting presence to the end of this age (Mt 28:20); His return to save His own sheep (Jn 6:39-40, Heb 9:28), and to revisit justice and vengeance upon all “who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess 1:8)
To we who eagerly wait for Him, Jesus Christ has become our treasure. A. A. Hodge, while pastoring a church in Virginia, spoke about one woman in his church … “Sometimes when a service was over, and the congregation dispersed, she would still be found sitting absorbed in her pew. Then, startled by her pastor’s voice near at hand, she cried instantly, ‘Is He not holy? Is He not glorious? Is He not beautiful? Is He not infinite?’” Oh that we would be so absorbed with Christ … to be enthralled with his Holiness, His glory and His beauty … His unsearchable riches!
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