December 17, 2020

Is There Life after Death?

John 11:21-27

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

—  John 11:25-26

Not long ago I had the privilege of preaching on this text at the funeral of a close relative. To some people, the claim of Jesus about life after death might sound like nonsense. They might well ask, “How could any intelligent person think that Jesus’ claim here is true? When people die, they don’t go on living.”

Their skepticism would make sense if it were just any of us making that claim. But the person speaking here is Jesus, the Son of God, the Savior. And he later backs up his claim by raising Martha’s dead brother back to life (John 11:38-44). Then, after Jesus himself was crucified, died, and was buried, he showed his power over death by rising from the dead to prove that he is “the resurrection and the life.” (See John 19-20.)

Through his birth, death, and resurrection the Lord Jesus ­assures us that there is life after death. The grave is not the end for those who die. Death is a stepping stone into eternal life for everyone who believes in Jesus as Savior. The one condition is that we believe in him. The question Jesus asked Martha is a question that we have to answer as well.

Do we believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? The answer to this question will determine whether we live after we die.

Lord Jesus, help us to believe that you are the resurrection and the life. Give us the assurance that you have overcome death for us. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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