My project results – part 2 continued
When I realized I had been resurrected in baptism and given a new body like Jesus, God then showed me what He most wanted me to see.
it is appointed for men once to die, and after this comes judgment (see Hebrews 9:27a)
Jesus said – “Truly, truly, I say to you, the one hearing my word and believing him who sent me, has eternal life and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)
A Christian does not enter judgment because Jesus was judged for our sins in our place on the cross. A Christian dies in baptism and by grace passes directly from death into life. We are resurrected in baptism, we are made alive with Christ.
Jesus said – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never die, and no one shall pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)
The good news is not that we die, go to heaven, and then live forever. The good news is that we now live forever and never physically die. We have become like Jesus, death no longer has dominion over us. (see Romans 6:8-9)
Once means only once. It is appointed to man once to die. We die in baptism. Our one death is now in the rear view mirror. We will never die again. We now have life, physical life, that never ends as a free gift from God.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2)
God concealed in plain sight the good news that I could start planning my 200th birthday on earth. So I have.
How did we miss seeing something so profound? We think we have to see our death for it to be real. We forget that the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are permanent, eternal. The death God tells us happened in our baptism is our actual death.
the things being seen are transient, but the things unseen are everlasting. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
God then showed me this good news was a cornerstone of what Jesus had been teaching his disciples.
Truly, truly, I say to you, he believing in me has eternal life. (John 6:47)
this is the will of my Father who sent me, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life (John 6:40)
Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he shall never see death. (John 8:51)
For even as the Father raises the dead and makes alive, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. (John 5:21)
I [Jesus] am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. (John 14:6b)
I [Jesus] am the bread of life. … He who eats my flesh [the bread] and drinks my blood [the juice] abides in me and I in him. As the living Father sent me and I [Jesus] live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. (John 6:48, 56-57 RSV)
Jesus says he is the life. I always have Jesus abiding in me. So therefore I have eternal life. It’s literal. Eternal life has already begun. It isn’t something which begins at some time in the future. Jesus is the mechanism, the how, for this gift of eternal life. It’s his presence in me. The moment I received Jesus as my Savior I received eternal life. Eternal means something that always is. God is eternal.
My part is simple. I take communion and celebrate Jesus. I remember Jesus sacrificed his body on the cross to set me free from sin and death. (see Romans 8:1-2) Jesus now abides in me and I in him. Life abides in me.
We have over complicated Christianity and missed seeing its basic beauty.
Adam and Eve had a perfect life in Eden.
Adam sinned. Bad news. The penalty of sin was death.
Jesus, the Son of God, came. “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Good news.
We have returned to life as it was before. Sin is gone by God’s grace. So is the penalty of death. God has restored us. We have been perfected forever by the sacrificial offering of the body of Jesus Christ.
(see John 1:29; Romans 5:8-10 & 8:1-2; Hebrews 10:10,14; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 )
He who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne to his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life. I [John] write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:10b-13 RSV)
What did God most want me to know? That He gave me life and I will never physically die. Wow! Thank you, God!