Phil.3:10 – that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
This is a surprising statement coming from the Apostle Paul. “I want to know Him…”. If anyone knew Jesus it had to be Paul. His conversion to Christ was sudden, shocking, and unparalleled. He was filled with anger and murder one moment and in the next moment he was on his face on the Damascus Road worshipping the risen Savior. Christ interrupted Paul’s life and his desire to know the Lord was birthed. As Christ first came into his life, Paul was drastically and permanently changed. It was out of this moment that Paul realized that his quest to know the Lord would be never ending. He would press on to know the Lord the rest of his life. I think it is interesting the conclusions Paul came to about knowing Christ more. He said that it was connected to the resurrection and to suffering. Here is how the Pillar Commentary describes it.
“Paul explicates the meaning of knowing Christ in terms of two objects of knowledge: to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings. By using one definite article, Paul unites the power and participation to form a single entity. Knowing the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings are two inseparable aspects of his experience of knowing Christ. It is impossible to know the power of his resurrection without participation in his sufferings. The unity of these two aspects of the knowledge of Christ leads to viewing them as contemporaneous: since knowing participation in his sufferings is the present experience of Paul, then knowing the power of his resurrection takes place in the present context of sufferings. Knowing the power of Christ’s resurrection provides the incentive and strength to participate in the sufferings of Christ.”
We tend to categorize and separate the power of the resurrection and suffering as two different things, to Paul they were inseparable. This reminds me of the conflict Paul described in 2 Corinthians asking the Lord to remove this thorn in the flesh, the constant persecution and suffering that he faced. The Lord said that it was in this suffering that His power was perfected. The Lord went on to say that His grace was sufficient. The letter to the Philippians was written from jail to a church which had been basically birthed from a time of imprisonment and beating. So maybe the resistance we all face as Christians is not a bad thing but just an opportunity for all of us to know Christ and to experience the power of His resurrection in our lives.