“No, I don’t wish I knew Heaven was like the picture in my Great Divorce because, if we knew that, we should know it was no better. The good things even of this world are far too good ever to be reached by imagination.
Even the familiar orange, no one could have imagined it before he tasted it. How much less Heaven.”
From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III
Compiled in Yours, Jack
I like this quote from the compilation of Lewis’ letters. We know living on this earth is not Heaven by experiencing it. But we now know we can get there from here. To expect more from life than things seen is a most endorsing encouragement. So compelling is knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection. If you will, please see Philippians 3:10
Faith in Christ includes sharing in four characteristics of Christ’s life, which Paul addresses in verses 10 and 11. This verse provides the first three. First, knowing Jesus clearly involves the power of the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus conquered death and provided the way to know the Lord.
Second, Paul indicates the importance of sharing in “His sufferings.” Many believers miss this trait, believing the Christian faith provides freedom from hardship. This is a common – false – teaching of modern motivational speakers who use biblical terms in their speeches. Both Paul, and the early church, knew that living for Christ included sharing in both the joys and struggles of Christ. This sometimes means suffering. Paul personally endured hardship despite his faithful life spent serving Christ.
Paul also identifies the concept of mimicking Christ in His death. Some see the idea of martyrdom in this verse. However, the focus is on becoming “like him” in death, not the method of death. Paul wants to die to the world of sin and temptation, so he can be fully transformed, in order to be like Christ. This is a sentiment he will mention again in verse 21. This concept would also point to us becoming like Him in our resurrection bodies. 1 John 3:2.
Whatever our personal vision of heaven now, we know it is where our Savior sits at the right hand of God, our Father. How perfect is that?
Almighty God and Father,
Thank you for always having the better for us in mind than we can ever imagine. Both in this world and certainly in the next, where you are. Amen.
‘But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.’
I Corinthians 2:9-10