Wednesday, November 26, 2008


"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"" John 11:25-26

(By the way, that double quote sign at the end bothers me. It always bothers me when I see it, but since I do see it quite often in books or articles, I suppose it is correct. I could probably leave off my quote marks altogether and anyone would still get the idea that I'm quoting something here, but for now I'll just leave it as it is. It still bothers me, though.)

And yes. The answer is yes. I know he wasn't speaking directly to me, but I'm answering anyway. Yes.

It is an odd thing to say, though, or at least an odd way to say it. And it seems to be a bit of a paradox. First, whoever believes, though he die, shall live. Then, whoever lives and believes will never die. A little confusing, isn't it?

I guess maybe the last part of the verse relates to his first statement, claiming that he is both "the resurrection and the life." The resurrection in that, through him, through faith in him, through a trusting relationship with him, we have new life. Our old self dies and he gives us new life. We die, yet we shall live. Yes? Make sense? There's probably more to it than that, but for me, that's enough for now.

But then, as he claims, he is not only the resurrection, but he is life itself. Through belief in him, faith in him, a trusting relationship with him, we will not die.

This part seems harder to me - harder to formulate, to explain in terms that make it perfectly clear to me. It's the "never die" part that trips me up, you know? We all die, after all - he just said so, sort of. But I think I have to try to understand what he means by dying.

My body will die, no doubt about it. Everyone I know will die...their bodies, anyway. So I don't think Jesus was talking about our physical death. No, I guess maybe he's talking about the death of our old sin nature in the first part of the verse (which has happened and yet I live), and then true death, the death of our spiritual nature (which cannot happen in Christ), in the last part.

My old sin nature is dead, but my spirit has been raised...resurrected with Christ and will never die. In fact, my true nature, the real me, isn't really even tied to this old dying body anymore, which is so often infected by my old dead sin nature. No, the real me is with Christ in heaven right now.

Hey, I am already in heaven!

Don't believe me? Check this out:

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:1-4

Father God, help me to remember that this world is no longer my home, but that I am with you in heaven. This old sinful nature is dead and the life you've given me to live here now in this body is yours and yours alone. Be with me today, moment by moment, to live my life for you, through you, and to worship you and serve you with everything I have. I love you.

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