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The Resurrection and the Life

Posted on Oct 8, 2005 by in Blog, Faith | 0 comments

I was at a memorial service today and Pastor Mike Carman preached on the passage where Lazarus dies and Mary says to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” And Jesus says to her “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”

As Mike spoke, the thought struck me that we always focus on the resurrection part of that passage. But we often skim over this: Jesus is the LIFE.

One more time. JESUS IS THE LIFE.

In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” The American Heritage Dictionary lists the definition for abundance as “Fullness to overflowing.” The Greek word for abundantly has its root in the word perissos which means “over and above; more than is necessary; superadded.” He came to give us life over and above what we would otherwise have.

So what do we count as life? Joy, gladness, happiness, fear, hurt, sorrow. Love, weddings, births, peace, friendship, death, work, strength, weakness, and a myriad other emotions and events. If God gave us Life abundantly, that means that all those things that make up our life are more abundant. I think we tend to take that passage to mean that God only gives us the happy stuff in abundance. Somehow we’ve tricked ourselves into believing that once we have a relationship with Jesus that everything just falls into place and everything’s hunky-dory. My Bible doesn’t tell me that, but it does tell me a few interesting things.

“Lo, I am with you always, till the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“Rejoice in the Lord, always! Again, I will say Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Part of the goodness of God is that He reminds us that this world is not our home each and every day. Through the abundance of the emotions and experiences of life, He calls to us and asks us to look beyond the temporal and see the eternal.

Jesus is the LIFE. Is God your life, or is God a part of your life? We can spend our lives in thousands of worthy pursuits. But even the study of theology and scripture, while certainly worthy pursuits, can become our lives as opposed to part of our lives. Are we so wrapped up in words that we forget the Word made flesh? Do we spend hours debating theology and the real meaning and context of the Greek while forgetting to absorb the teaching IN the words? We could debate syntax and exegete passages all day, but when that day ends, can we say that we drew closer to the Heart of God? Can we say that we are more like Jesus today than we were yesterday?

Please don’t misunderstand me. We NEED to study the Word. We need in-depth teaching because that is a part of how we grow in our knowledge of what Christ taught. But we can only grow in the knowledge of Who He is when we spend time with Him. This abundant life that He has given us can’t run itself. And we certainly can’t run it. Only God can bring order to the super-charged life that is Christianity. And the only way He can run it is to BE Life.

At the memorial service, I was reminded of the song “Homesick” by MercyMe. I think it sums up our experience.

You’re in a better place, I’ve heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I’ve rejoiced for you
But the reason why I’m broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don’t understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I’ll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I’m still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbyes
And in Christ, there is no end
So I’ll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now

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