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The average view of religion is that it is a set of practices to help people become better. The goal is to be a good person—a spiritual person—and religious practices help us live a good, moral life.
The fundamental mission of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was not to make bad people good. It was to make dead people live!
Jesus is far more than a moral teacher. His moral teachings are the greatest and most true the world has ever seen. But teaching us what a God-honoring life looks like only leaves us striving to be good enough to please God and earn eternal life. And that is not the basis for eternal life Scripture gives us.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)
Jesus is the one who gives life to those who are physically alive but spiritually dead. And the life Jesus gives is a death-conquering life that takes us beyond physical death and into eternal life.
Jesus is the Lord of life!
How do we know this is true? Jesus demonstrated power over death when He raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus confirmed power over death when He came out of the grave Himself. And Jesus promised the life He gives means lively life here and now and eternal life after our physical death.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)
The life Jesus gives to those who trust Him is abundant, lively life. Life in Christ is filled with joy and love and purpose. Are there challenges and hardships? Of course. No one gets through life without them. But every challenge and every hardship is an opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate His presence and grace, filling life with 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 3:16 NIV)
Whoever believes in (trusts in) Jesus will not perish, but will have eternal life. Physical death is nothing more than a doorway to eternity for those whose trust is in the Lord of life.
The One who raised Lazarus can raise me. And you. And all who trust Him and follow Him. No other religious teacher in all of history has the authority to give life. And only Jesus promises the life He gives will last for eternity.
Jesus is the Lord of life. He called Lazarus from the grave. And He calls us from death to life. Thanks be to God!
Grace and Peace,