Part 8 – Proof daily
In John 5:24, Jesus told Martha, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has crossed over from death to life.” And by “life” he meant “eternal” life (same verse) – meaning we can experience eternal life now. Every day.
John confirms that in 1 John 5:11 when he writes, “God has given us eternal life.” It’s already ours to experience, therefore. John explains how it’s ours too: it’s because “this life is in his Son.” Jesus is the source of it. So anyone “who has the Son,” verse 12, “has life.” To have Jesus in our life means we can experience eternal life now, every day. But how?
Paul gave us a clue from his own life in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, when writing about “the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.”
Paul reached the point he couldn’t take any more. And who doesn’t feel that way at some point in life, when hope is shattered by illness, accidents, job loss, family and marriage issues, personal addictions and crippling stress? “But,” Paul continues in verse 9, what he and his companions suffered “happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, WHO RAISES THE DEAD.”
Paul puts this entire physical experience we call “life,” with all its hardships and stress, into one simple package: It’s all meant to teach us that Jesus is always there for us, night and day, to raise us from the dead, by lifting us, as he did Paul, out of our hopelessness, weakness, and our inability to cope with our emotions and the circumstances we’re in. We need him to “deliver us from our deadly perils” too, as Paul phrased it in verse 10, SO THAT when we trust the resurrected Jesus to do that for us and he does it, we then “set out hope that he will CONTINUE to deliver us” any time – and any day – we get in such a fix again.
Because that way we’ll KNOW he’s alive. We’ve got real live experiences in our everyday lives, proving to us again and again that we’ve already “crossed over from death to life” – because Jesus really did come back from the dead to make it possible.
(Coming up next: “Saved…” – digging into the meaning of salvation)