Posted December 24, 2014
…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.
While the Christmas season and holidays are a beautiful time of year, they are also an exceptionally difficult time of year for so many. For some, the difficulty stems from the loss of loved ones whose absence is pronounced and felt. In a world of death and dark shadows, where do we find hope? Just before raising Lazarus in John 11, Jesus gives Himself the titles of the resurrection and the life. A few observations about these truths:
First, Jesus doesn’t say He’s a resurrection or a life, but the resurrection and the life. He makes exclusive claims about who He is! If someone came around making these same claims in our culture today, they would be labeled bigoted and intolerant. However, Jesus doesn’t back away from saying hard things and we’re forced to reckon with them today: do we believe who Jesus said He was and its implications to all of life? He is not merely the One who brings about the resurrection, but rather the One who is the resurrection.
Secondly, if He’s the resurrection, then death does not have the final word! There is life after death. One of people’s greatest fears is death itself; it stands as the great unknown. What lies beyond it? If He’s the resurrection, then we know there’s something, not nothing-ness! Additionally, if He’s the life, then there’s a sort of life that Jesus has that we need. Apart from Him, we know only death.
Third, Jesus desires that others enter into His resurrection life. How do we know this? Jesus tells us in the phrase immediately following it: whoever believes in Him shall live and never die. This belief isn’t just an acknowledgement of existence, but rather a heart-level trust and placing one’s confidence in Him. It’s a belief in and into Him; it’s a uniting belief that sees, savors, & cherishes Jesus and all He is! Note that He extends this promise to “whoever” believes in Him. This resurrection and life Jesus promises is not not just for the religious ones! No one is too far gone from Jesus’ gracious reach…
This Christmas, may your heart be full of hope as your eyes rest on the baby in the manger who is resurrection and life to world of darkness and death. May you see His pursuit of you in Bethlehem as He lay in a humble manger and at Calvary as He hung on a bloodied cross. Death is not the end, but rather Jesus holds the keys to death and hell, leading us out of our graves into life and friendship with God Himself! Believe in Him today, and cherish this resurrected life-giving Savior! He is eternally trustworthy and worthy of our praise. Praise Him for His incarnation.
Song by Ryan Gikas.
Production by Dustin Ragland.
Artwork by Jonathan Lindsey.