Paul said, ‘I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death.’
Let’s take an in-depth look at this verse.
(1) ‘I want to know Christ.’ In Scripture, the word ‘know’ indicates physical intimacy between two people who love one another. For example, ‘Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain.’ (Genesis 4:1 NKJV)
(2) ‘And experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead.’ What’s dead in your life that needs to be raised? There is no problem that Christ’s resurrection power can’t handle. And how do you access it? When you make intimacy with Christ your top priority, you tap into His power.
Some of us would be more comfortable if the verse ended after the words, ‘the mighty power that raised Him from the dead.’ But the truth is, if you want intimacy with Christ, you must be willing to ‘suffer with Him.’ Here, the word ‘suffer’ isn’t referring to a bad allergy season or a losing streak on the stock market. For Paul, it meant being beaten, betrayed, and bullied. But it brought a level of intimacy with Jesus that can’t be experienced any other way. If you have ever suffered deeply with another person, you understand this principle. You will never experience true intimacy with somebody by telling them, ‘I only want to share the good times with you.’ Often, the strongest relationship bonds come from the suffering we go through together; trials that cause us to know, love, and trust each another in a newer, deeper dimension.