Day 25: Jesus is Eternal Life
یسوع ابدی زندگی ہے (Urdu)
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. – 1 John 5:20
To understand that Jesus is eternal life, it helps to see how eternity relates to His birth, His life, and His death and resurrection. Since He is God become man, these aspects of His earthly life have bearing for ours.
Jesus’s birth unites eternal life with human life: Jesus did not begin to exist at His birth. He always was. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). This reality is supported in John 17:5 when Jesus refers to the glory which He had with the Father “before the world began” and in John 17:24, which refers to the Father having loved Jesus “before the creation of the world”. With respect to His earthly life, Jesus had come and gone before any of the people to whom the Apostle John’s letter was addressed or before any of us who believe in Him today. But with respect to the eternal Son of God becoming a man, when Jesus came, He came to stay. Eternity now dwells in human flesh forever. And that thought, of the permanent abiding of the eternal Christ in human flesh, remains an assurance that eternal life is possible for humanity.
Faith in Christ means to embrace the wonder that in the incarnation, Jesus unites eternal life with humanity.
Jesus lives an eternal life: John 10:27- 28 is a self-proclamation by Jesus: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” So, the personal relationship a Christian has with Jesus leads to eternal life for the Christian. What does it mean to follow Jesus? It means to obey His voice and instruction, to walk in His ways, and to go where He goes. So, the Christian, who follows Jesus, learns the way of living—loving God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving neighbour as self—that is the way of the eternal kingdom. She learns to live the kind of life, the quality of life that produces flourishing and so will endure forever in God’s kingdom. Jesus gives us that “eternal life” by His teaching and example. How, though, can we go where He goes? Ultimately where He goes is into the very presence of God—which is where we are made to be, but to where we lost access because of sin and rebellion against God and His ways. Jesus’s earthly life, though, was lived in perfect obedience to God and His ways. He did nothing to deserve separation from God. On the contrary, His life qualifies Him—and all who are united to Him by the Holy Spirit—to live forever in the very presence of God. He can give eternal life to His sheep because as God, He has it and because as human, He earned it in the flesh. Hence, to be in Christ Jesus means to be certainly and securely qualified for eternal life in His righteousness.
Jesus’ death and resurrection assure us of eternal life: The Apostle Paul hits this important connection between death and eternal life head on: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Simply put, sin’s penalty, death, stands in the way of our having eternal life. Because Jesus is human and sinless, He can pay the penalty for human sin as a substitute. And He did (Hebrews 2:14-17)! And once that penalty is paid, it cannot be demanded again. Alleluia! Jesus’ resurrection in human flesh assures us that we, too, can and will be raised. Again, the Apostle Paul makes this important connection clear: “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). His resurrection is the “firstfruits,” the beginning of a harvest that assures more to come. Because He rose, we who are in Him by faith will also rise to eternal life with God.
What a tremendous comfort and joy, in regions of the world like mine where political volatility and religious tensions highlight life’s fragility, to know Jesus, who is eternal life. Indeed, it’s a comfort in the world at large, ravaged by disunity, immorality, and pandemic, to know that He leads us now in the life that is abundant and will endure, and He has won for us the assurance that death will not have the last word. His blessing of eternal life will flow “far as the curse is found.”
Regina Louisa John is from Pakistan, where she helps train pastors with Langham Preaching in addition to serving within women’s ministry at her local church.