Read His Words Before Ours!
If you’ve been tracking with us in our in-depth study of John 3:16, then you know we’ve reached the final phrase today, but have eternal life. What exactly does eternal life refer to? Is it something that begins when we die?
How did Christ’s death purchase it?
How is it sustained?
We need to ask these questions so we have a full, robust understanding of what God gives. In previous Journey Studies we’ve seen how those who believe in Him [Jesus], are the ones referenced here who have eternal life. We also understood how this kind of belief is not simply agreeing to facts about who Jesus is, but it is entrusting oneself to the very Son of God. When we believe in this way, we will not perish, (experience eternal death), but have eternal life.
Eternal life is not a distant destination, a rank to check off a list, or a dusty chapter of a theology book. It’s a person – Christ Himself. There’s no getting eternal life without getting Jesus; there’s no getting Jesus without eternal life. They go together because He came ushering it in.
Jesus tells us in John 10:10, “A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” Christ’s missional focus in coming to earth was to bring abundant life to mankind. Life is found only in Him, and it is His life that brings light to all men. (John 1:4)
We see another contrast between life and death in Romans 6:23 when it tells us that the wages sin pays is death. When we are a slave to sin, whereby it is our master, Sin will only deliver us over to Death. Sin does not love or provide for us, but steals, kills and destroys. Yet when God is our master, He gives us an undeserved gift, eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eternal life cannot be found through any other means, religion, person or spirit.
It is only in Christ Jesus because only He is a flawless sacrifice taking the punishment of Sin, which is Death, upon Himself.
In John 11:25-26 Jesus comforts Martha when grieving the death of Lazarus, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Not even death puts a stop to life as Jesus gives it! The body may die and pass away from this earth, but it is not the end.
The Substance of Life
So what IS eternal life? When Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman he compassionately told her, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life. (John 4:13-14)
The life Jesus came to give fully satisfies our soul’s needs and lasts far beyond any physical need. If Christ Himself is eternal life, then He has actually come to give us Himself.
Our soul’s needs are met in the very person and work of Jesus Christ.
All of who He is, is the substance of eternal life.
Revelation 7:16-17 and 21:3-5 give us heart-bursting images of this eternal life to come, when “He will wipe away every tear” and “Death will be no more” and He will make everything new. It’s difficult for us to imagine this world because we’ve never experienced it. We will spend eternity with God, knowing Him more, and will never bore of His beauty, love, and goodness. Why? Because it’s the world we were actually made for.
It’s the truest life there ever will be.
Yet eternal life doesn’t begin only when our bodies die. John 5:24 says, “anyone who believes…. has eternal life”.
Do you see it?
That’s right now!
We have eternal life the moment we entrust ourselves to Jesus.
His Living Water rescues us from the bondage of sin today.
It awakens us to obey our Master today.
It compels us to love others today.
It ushers in hope and peace into our soul today.
The Securing and Sustaining Savior
This eternal life was purchased for us by Jesus, fully-God and fully-man.
Having lived a perfect, sin-less life, He offered Himself freely in death on the cross, to make atonement for the sin of mankind. The chastisement that was put upon Him is what brought us peace with God (Isaiah 53:5, Romans 5:1-2), which is how we are offered the gift of eternal life.
Because there is nothing we’ve done to earn this gift (Ephesians 2:8-9),
we must accept the reality of Christ’s working power on our behalf.
Because there’s nothing we have done to achieve this salvation,
there’s nothing we can do to lose it. (John 10:27-29)
We praise You Jesus for coming that we may have life and have it abundantly into eternity! Fix our eyes on this true life – that we may walk in it now and have hope for a future!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!