To live is Christ because he has given us his very own spiritual life. His zoe. We have been exploring this idea by tracing it through the Gospel of John. Today we’ll look at an another amazing statement by Jesus in John 11.
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life [zoe]. He who believes in me will live [zoe], even though he dies;
You might remember the story. Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, is sick. But Jesus doesn’t come right away to heal him, instead he waits for him to die. When Jesus finally arrives, he is confronted by Martha and Mary, Lazarus’ sisters. In the midst of his conversation with Martha, Jesus asks her if she believes in the resurrection of the dead. And it is here that Jesus reveals this next amazing truth about his life: He IS “the resurrection and the life.”
This is not poetic repetition. He is not saying the same thing twice. Resurrection and life (zoe) are two different things. The word zoe builds on the concept of resurrection. His spiritual life or zoe conquers physical death, as proven by the resurrection of the dead. He adds to this thought even more in verse 26.
John 11:26. “and everyone who lives [zoe] and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Most scholars believe that in verse 25 Jesus is talking about the eternality of the body, while in verse 26 he is talking about the eternality of the soul. Yes there is still death. Even Jesus would die physically. But because of Jesus’ zoe, there is resurrection- an eternal body and an eternal soul (remember, the soul flows from the spirit-body connection). Jesus leaves death in view, but he is changing its ultimate significance. Death no longer has the final word.
And again, we must recall what Jesus has said about himself. He IS the resurrection and the life. He doesn’t simply tell us how to achieve resurrection. He doesn’t point us to eternal life. He doesn’t reveal the path to it. He IS it. His life is eternal life. And his life in us secures our bodily resurrection.
The implications of this are enormous, and we will develop them more and more as we continue on this journey together. But for now let’s simply say that zoe affects much more than just your “spiritual life”. It also affects your physical life, for it guarantees your physical eternality. You will live forever spiritually and bodily. This gives meaning to your entire life, your full self. It all matters to God. It matters to him so much that he was willing to make the entire you as eternal as he is.