BEING CONFORMED TO HIS DEATH
". . . that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead." Phil. 3:10
A Means to an End
We all know that God wants to conform us to the image of His Son. Many times do we talk about, preach about, and fellowship around this point in the scriptures. Conforming us to His image is an important part of God's transformation process in maturing His saints. But how often do we talk about how God does this? How does God conform us to the image of His Son? By conforming us to His death! No one seems to want to talk about that! Of course, we tend to think of death as a negative thing, and we usually want to stay away from focusing on negative things. But is it really negative? Whether we intellectually understand it or not is not the point. God uses death to bring forth life! He brings forth life, by birth, and then brings that life into deeper and deeper cycles of death in order that there may be an increase of life! This cannot be conceived of by our mortal minds. Isn't death the opposite of life? Yes it is. Yet that is how your God works. He takes nothing to create something. He creates riches out of lack and want. He creates form and beauty out of chaos. And He creates life out of death.
The Increased Life
But we are speaking here of a different kind of life; a life that has overcome death, Resurrection life. Previously, we had divine life. That is a wonderful thing. But after the resurrection, we have divine life that has overcome death. That is even more powerful! That is divine life multiplied!
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." John 12:24
Of course we know that the Lord was speaking here of His own death and resurrection. But He was also revealing a spiritual principle in the mind of God; something which applies to all of us. God brings forth life by means of cycles of death. And this new life that comes forth is an increased, multiplied, and much more powerful life. The purpose of the resurrection of Jesus Christ was not so the Father could prove to the world that He could do it. It was so that He could "multiply" Himself. If you want to think of it mathematically, you could say that death was the divider. He had to divide before He could multiply, so He divided Himself (by death) and then multiplied Himself by resurrection.
The Fruit Within
The Father chose you and I within His Son way before there was anything (Eph. 1:4). When Christ died you and I were in Him. When He rose from the dead you and I were in Him. All the seeds of a new creation were raised with Christ in His resurrection! Life increased, life multiplied. This is corporate life! God's purpose was not just to have one solitary life be His expression. He wanted to express Himself through a corporate body.
Life out of Death
So you see that even though death was God's enemy, He used death to accomplish His own purpose. What a wonderful God we have! He chose to use death as the means to bring forth life. And in so doing, He conquered death! Glory to God!
So now we can see a principle working inside of God. He always uses death to bring forth an increased, multiplied, and more powerful life. You can see this working in your own life. God will bring you through seasons where it seems that all has been lost, everything looks very bleak, and it looks really hopeless in a particular area of your life. This may last for days, weeks, months, or years. Yet there will come a time when God will "resurrect" that area of your life. That portion of your life will once again come alive, yet now it will be different. Now, you will treat it differently. Now it has been multiplied and increased and will effect other people as well.
God also works this way in our relationships. A marriage will go through cycles of death and resurrection. Our love for one another will go through death and then be resurrected to be more powerful, mature, and multiplied. This also happens with our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. The bonds between us will go through cycles of death and resurrection in order for that life to be multiplied and grow.
God's purpose is to increase and multiply His Son. He wants to fill all things everywhere with Christ. His goal is that Christ would be the All in all!