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  The Resurrection and the Life      

 

       Years ago I was listening to a preacher speak about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. He was emphasizing the point that Martha didn’t quite “get” that Jesus was going to raise her brother--even after Jesus had explained it to her.

                    Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again

                   in the resurrection on the last day.” 

     Jesus said to her,

 

                    “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes

                    in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who

                    lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you

                    believe this?” (John 11:24-26, my underline).

 

     Although I had read these words many times before, when I heard them preached that morning, the Holy Spirit hit me right between the eyes! It’s like Jesus was saying to Martha (and through the preacher to me), “You’re not getting what I’m saying. The resurrection is not just an event that will take place in the future--I am the Resurrection and the Life, right here, right now. Not only am I about to prove it to you by raising your brother from the dead but if you live and believe in Me you will never die. Do you believe this?”

     I was floored.

     If we fully live and believe in Christ we shall never die! That deserves repeating. If we fully live and believe in Jesus Christ we shall never die!

     It was the defining moment in my life. This verse, this statement became the spiritual stake that God drove into my heart 30 years ago. It was the answer to a prayer that I had been asking the Lord for some time. My relationship with Christ has been rooted and grounded in this verse ever since. It is the foundation upon which this book was written. 

      I realize that Jesus’ teaching that we do not have to die as we commonly think of death will not be received by most who hear it. Nevertheless it is plain Jesus taught this. Even the Pharisees understood that Jesus taught death could be overcome, although they did not believe Him. 

     Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

     The Jews replied to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word, he shall never taste   

of death’ “ (John 8:51, 52).

     Whether we want to believe Jesus (like Enoch, Elijah, and the believers at His coming) or not (like the Pharisees), Jesus taught death could be overcome.

 

                    For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that

                   we who are alive and remain until the coming of the

                   Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

                   For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with

                   a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with

                   the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise

                   first. Then we who are alive and remain will be

                   caught up together with them in the clouds to meet

                   the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with

                   the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with

                   these words (I Thessalonians 4:15-18).

      All those who believe in Christ will be included in this momentous event commonly referred to as the “rapture”. But to be raptured alive--and not from the grave--we must overcome. We must overcome sin and death just like Enoch and Elijah did. We must fully attain to the appointment by God to die the first death in Christ and attain to eternal life. There is no other way.

                   “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit

                   says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not

                   be hurt by the second death” (Revelation 2:11).

 

Taken from Falling in Love with the Prince of Life

  ©copyright 2009 Michael J. Silberg

 

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This web site was last updated on 01/18/2010

copyright Michael J. Silberg 2007