November 12, 2013

The Crossover

John 5:16-24

“Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me … has crossed over from death to life.”
—John 5:24


Today’s verses show Jesus in trouble. The Jewish leaders wanted to kill him because he was “making himself equal with God.”

As Jesus responded to his critics, he gave them even more reasons to judge him harshly. He claimed (and of course had) two privileges that only God could have: the power to raise people from the dead and the right to be our final judge.

Now, people believed that God would raise the dead and judge all of humanity in a future “last day.” But Jesus announced, in effect, “That day is now!” He said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

Note the tenses of the verbs in this declaration. Listening to Jesus, believing and trusting God today, means that we are alive forever and that we are not condemned. We have—already—crossed over from death to life!

In Christ, we can live today gratefully free of any threat of judgment. We can live, right now, joyfully free of the fear of death. For we have crossed over from death to life.

How will this influence our talk and attitudes today?

Dear Jesus, help me understand the impact of what you have said. May all that I do and say today reflect the fact that I have already “crossed over,” by your amazing grace. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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