“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”
After giving a talk about Jesus' resurrection to some Chinese university students, I was asked, "Do you mean that if I don't believe in the resurrection, I can't be a Christian?" When I said that believing in the resurrection is at the heart of Christianity, the student turned away disappointed.
In his fifth "I am" statement, Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life." According to science, it's easy to reject Jesus' claim, because people have not observed anyone coming back to life. Nevertheless, Christians believe that on the third day following his crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus' resurrection sealed the victory over sin and death. The resurrection is so essential, Paul says, that if God didn't raise Jesus from the dead, our faith is useless and "we are of all people most to be pitied" (1 Corinthians 15:19).
By faith, however, through the Holy Spirit's work in our hearts, we believe that God did raise Jesus from the dead. And we enjoy new life in Jesus and look forward to life with him forever. This is no myth or fanciful escape from the present; it is simply the truth at the heart of being a Christian.
Do you believe Jesus is the resurrection and the life? In what ways can Jesus' resurrection shape how you live today?
Jesus, you are the resurrection and the life, and in you we have new life and the hope of eternal life. Work in our hearts and lives today as we serve you and look forward to spending eternity with you. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!