Incomparably Great Power
Bask in God’s resurrection power
By Melak Alemayehu
Have you ever been worried about a challenging situation that hindered you from accomplishing your plan? What about being eaten by fear, feeling crushed under the heavy load of guilt? Is there any cloud of disappointment that blocks the sunshine of hope on your sky? If that’s the case, there is an incomparably great power available for you daily—whether it be worry, fear, or disappointment. The apostle Paul writes that the resurrection of Jesus Christ illustrates this incomparably great power. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know . . . his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 1:18-20).1 Paul does not only pray for others—it his own desire to truly know this power of the Resurrection (see Phil. 3:10). The empty tomb of Jesus helps us to see how that incomparably great power dispelled worry, fear, and disappointment from the lives of different individuals.
It was early on Sunday morning. The women who had been grieving since Friday were on their way to Jesus’ tomb. The unfinished business of anointing Jesus’ dead body, following the custom of the day, brought them back to the tomb. They walked with a heavy heart and wondered, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” (Mark 16:3). Mark gives us more information about the size of the stone when he notes that it was “very large” (verse 4). The women were worried. How could they move that big stone on their own? They needed help—yet there was no help in sight.
They did not realize that their worry had already been taken care of by the incomparably great power of the Resurrection. Mark describes this moment: “But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away” (verse 4). The women were worried about a nonexisting problem for the stone had already been rolled away. Is this not a fitting picture of most of our worries today? Jesus has already cleared many of the obstacles that we think are in our way.
Note that the worry of the women was somehow linked to access—they needed access to the body of Jesus. Many people today feel that it is impossible to have access to God. They try to look for someone else, as the women did. However, this is a groundless worry, for the barrier is already removed. Because of that incomparably great power, Jesus was resurrected and seated at the right hand of God and opened a “new and living way” for us to approach the throne of grace (Heb. 10:20). Hence, there is no need of a mediator to connect us with God other than Jesus Christ. Just look up and see that the obstacle has already been removed, and bask in the sweet fellowship with God.
"Just look up and see that the obstacle has already been removed, and bask in the sweet fellowship with God."
As we continue to read the account of the resurrection in Mark 16, we see the women entering the tomb. There they do not find the dead body of Jesus, but a young man. After explaining what had taken place, the young man commissioned them to go and tell the disciples of Jesus so that they could meet Him in Galilee. The angel singled out one name among the disciples: “Go, tell his disciples and Peter” (Mark 16:7). Why was Peter singled out? Wasn’t Peter one of the disciples? A quick review of the background of the story helps us understand.
Peter had been outspoken in affirming his position that he would not abandon his Master—no matter what. He meant what he said and even tried to defend Jesus with his sword when the soldiers came to arrest Him. Yet fierce Peter failed miserably when a maid identified him publicly as a follower of Jesus. His denial caused deep grief. When the rooster crowed, he remembered Jesus’ words, and he “broke down and wept” (Mark 14:72).
I see Peter in my mind’s eye eaten up with guilt and squeezed with the fear of having committed an unpardonable sin. Panicked, Peter asked himself, Will my sins be forgiven? Can I return? Peter’s experience illustrates well our struggle with sin. We may find ourselves committing a particular sin, and, to make things worse, that action soon becomes habitual. Guilt and fear keep us in their grip. We may even wonder, Is there a way back? However, the incomparably great power of the Resurrection brought also great relief to Peter. Ellen White comments on the experience: “ ‘Tell his disciples and Peter,’ the angels said. Since the death of Christ, Peter had been bowed down with remorse. His shameful denial of the Lord, and the Savior’s look of love and anguish, were ever before him. Of all the disciples he had suffered most bitterly. To him the assurance is given that his repentance is accepted and his sin forgiven. He is mentioned by name.”2
The power of the Resurrection made it possible for Jesus to live forever and intercede for us (see Heb. 7:25). Thus John exhorts us: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1).
Among those who experienced the incomparably great power that God displayed at the resurrection of Jesus Christ were the disciples traveling to Emmaus. Luke describes this scene as Jesus joins the two disciples in the middle of the journey without being recognized. Responding to Jesus’ questions, the disciples exclaimed, “But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21).These disciples had also expected Jesus to overthrow the ruling power of Rome and establish Israel once again as a sovereign kingdom. But this Jesus, on whom they had put their hope of deliverance, had been nailed to the cross and had suffered a shameful death. They were disappointed; they felt dismayed. Yet Jesus, the risen Savior, began to unleash that incomparably great power as the conversation continued. By and by, that power dispelled their sadness, and their heart started “burning” with hope and joy (Luke 24:32).
It is said that disappointments are missed appointments. Certainly, in our Christian walk, there are times we feel despondent; our expectations may not have meshed with God’s purposes. But we always need to remember that the living God knows best in every situation. No matter how bleak things seem, Jesus, through the power of His resurrection, can make the future bright.
Remember Paul’s statement in Ephesians 1:18, 19? “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know . . . his incomparably great power for us who believe.” God’s incomparably great power is available only for those who believe. This is the only condition for us to access this power. Worry, fear, and disappointment—they all melt away when we meet the risen Savior and experience His resurrection power. Talk about incomparably great power!
1 Bible texts in this article have been taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
2 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 793.
Melak Alemayehu is a Ph.D. student in Biblical Studies/Old Testament at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in Silang, Philippines. Melak and his wife, Mihret, and their two children, Pheben and Paulos, are originally from Ethiopia.