Sunday, April 5, 2015

E—Eternal Life

Journey through the Gospel of John from A to Z with rookie bloggers who are seeking to honor their good friend, Tina.

In his gospel, John tells us that Jesus' miracles drew a lot of interest:
"Now while Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in His name." (John 2:23)

The miracles also attracted the attention of the religious leaders. One of those Jewish leaders, Nicodemus, came to visit Jesus one night.  From the interview, however, it is clear that Jesus was not impressed with the spiritual insight of this "teacher of Israel."

Jesus didn't waste any time in getting to the main point of our spiritual need: eternal life. For eternal life is the answer to the problem that every person confronts.  Everyone struggles with moral weaknesses and failings, and everyone faces the prospect of death. He tells Nicodemus the key to dealing with this problem and experiencing eternal life.

Jesus uses two images to explain eternal life, He described it as being a birth and as being like the wind—two things that cannot be controlled by the person experiencing them.

Having dedicated his life to strictly adhering to a set of traditions, Nicodemus had a hard time shifting gears. Jesus was directing Him to move from a place where his effort and behavior were the focus of his acceptability, to understand it wholly as a work of God.

Jesus:   I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God 
             unless he is born from above.  
Nic:       How can a man be born when he is old? 
             Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!  
Jesus:   You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born from above.'  
             The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, 
             but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. 
             So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.  

Jesus explained that God sent His son into the world so as to save it through Him.

Perhaps Nicodemus did not understand until later some of what Jesus was saying.  But when he saw Jesus lifted up on the cross, the words of that night must have come to him:

The Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  (John 3:15-16)

After Jesus gave His life on the cross, Nicodemus and another secret disciple laid Him in a tomb.  When Jesus rose from that tomb, his followers learned the power of the life that He offers.
And that is the light that Christians walk in today.

Eternal life is not just living after you physically die, it is being united with Jesus and experiencing His power and His eternality from the moment you put your trust in Him.

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life." (John 3:36)

Have you come into eternal life through faith in Jesus? Are you walking in His victory?

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