John 11:25-26. 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Do you believe this?
It’s the ultimate question isn’t it? Do you, do I, believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? That he is the death of death? That he alone is our source of eternal life?
Of course I believe it, Brady, I’m a Christian.
But do we live like we actually believe what Jesus said to Martha that day? The day of her brother Lazarus’ resurrection? Do we live as if we believe that, like for Lazarus, our future is now? Do our choices look like hope is alive in us? Do we present our immortality to the world?
To answer this, let’s test our belief with two questions:
1. Do you fear death?
Hebrews 2:15 says that we all are naturally held captive by our fear of death. We can tell that we live in a culture that fears death because we simply don’t talk about it. We refuse to confront it. We hide our diagnosis from others and we hide away those who are dying.
Or we try to rationalize death. It’s natural. We’re all gonna die. Circle of life. Eat, drink, and be merry. YOLO.
The truth is that there should be a natural fear of death in mankind. Death is our greatest enemy. It tears apart our being (soul-body) and tears apart our families and communities. The process of dying (which we are all in) takes everything from us. In the end everyone loses everything.
Jesus doesn’t deny the reality of physical death at all. He confronts death. He tells Martha that we’re all going to die – though he die. And then there’s the weeping. Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus. He mourns the physical death of his friend. It literally makes him angry. Why? Because Jesus knows that death is not natural. It’s not the plan of God. It’s not the circle of life. It’s an invader. It’s evil.
We all fear death because deep inside all of us, we know that we aren’t meant to die. And we all know that death and judgment are connected. We fear death because it is both the unknown and the known. We’re not sure what will happen when we die, but we know something is going to happen to us – and will we survive it?
2. Do you fear life?
Deeply connected to our fear of death is our fear of living. Possibly our greatest fear is that our life will end with us having made no difference. Our life came and went without an impact, a legacy, an heir, or at least our name in print somewhere.
Take a minute and think about how you live your life? How are you trying to be noticed (social media, performance, ministry)? What makes you worry? What keeps you up at night? Fill in the blank – If I don’t have ___ my life is not worth living (be honest). What are you afraid of missing out on? What do you feel guilty about? When you do die, what do you see yourself being judged for?
Your answers to these questions reveal your fear of life.
I am the resurrection and the life.
Our union with Christ changes everything. He is our resurrection. He is our life after death. He is the immortality of our body. No more FOMO. No more legacy building. No more worrying about this life. No more regrets or bucket lists. No more need to deny death or rationalize death.
And Christ is our life. He is our life before death. Our immortality has already begun. Our then is now. Our future judgment is our past crucifixion with Christ. Yes, it’s true that death takes everything physical away from us. But the promise of union with Christ is that death can never take what is ultimate and eternal. Including the death defeating love of God! The promise of union with Christ is that everything good that is lost will be restored.
“To live is Christ” means no more fear of dying and no more fear of living. Why? Because my life is no longer being measured. It is no longer the standard by which I will be judged. Through belief in Christ our lives have now been transformed from performance into worship. Death, the greatest evil on earth, has been transformed into the greatest good. The door into the unknowable judgment is now the door into knowing the everlasting love of of our Father. And there is no fear in his perfect love.
Do you believe this?
Do you fear death? Do you fear life?
You in Christ
In Christ you are already alive eternally and will one day be resurrected. Do you believe this? How might believing it change how you actually live?
Christ in you
How might your life be worship today rather than performance?
Playlist: Songs of resurrection.