Resurrection Life

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Jesus: The Gate To Life


John 5:17-30

Cody John Simpson

This week seek God, and seek to live Jesus’ life in the healing and restoration of the world around you.


    • When we approach Jesus we have a  tendency to divorce what is spiritual and what is material. As Christians we believe He is fully God and fully human, but most people struggle with this concept.
      • Some people who reject spiritual things see Him as only human, while those who are more spiritual/esoteric see Him more as a God than man. As Christians we often skew towards the latter problem, and while we claim Jesus is fully human we see Him as super-human, unrelatable, because at the end of the day we can’t imagine anything good being connected with decaying earthly things. Under the surface we struggle with the notion that there is a higher good to physical, earthly things.
      • We end up with a practical theology (or the way we live our faith) that seeks to nurture souls but ignores the decay of the world – human and nature, all of creation around us. 
      • This is a deep misunderstanding about the “true life” or spiritual life that Jesus actually gives. 
  • John 5:17-30
  • Truths about God
      • V17 – the Father is still working/v19 the Father is doing things/v26 the Father has life in Himself.
      • These passages give us a general overview of God the Father’s creative prerogative. He created all things, and He upholds creation every moment, because He is the source of all life. He is the source of creation. 
      • It’s really important that we grasp that God doesn’t just set creation in motion but that He is actively involved in it. Therefore He is purposeful in His design for life, and how we ought to live. God cares about the everyday of the creation He daily maintains.
      • Because the source of life is God, God is the only one who can grant true, real, fulfilling and never ending life. 
  • Truths about Jesus – But Jesus isn’t teaching the Jews about God here, He’s teaching about Himself
      • The Jews understood this right away in v18, by calling God His personal father, Jesus was claiming equality with God. But what does that look like, or even mean?
        • He has the same prerogative and power to give life.
          • V26 The Son also has life in Himself and v21 He can give that life to whomever He wants. 
        • Jesus engaged in the same activity as the Father.
          • v17-Jesus heals and gives life on the sabbath. The Father maintains creation (upholds and gives life) on the sabbath.
          • He will be given future works v20, which we see here as not just the right to give life, but that Jesus will give what’s called here “resurrection life” to people, and to others He will bring judgment on them (v27-29).
        • The relationship between Jesus and the Father means Jesus perfectly reveals the Father to us.
          • The Son is subordinate to the Father – v19 & 30. Jesus only does what the Father wants Him to. There is nothing unique to Jesus that is distinct from the Father in terms of character and behaviour. 
          • Their relationship is based on love v 20- the Father in His love shows all things to the Son and the Son in turn does the Father’s will. Perfect harmony between Father & Son.
          • Son and Father are God, and deserve the same honour. V23 tells us that all Jesus’ ministry is so that the Son who is now being revealed will be honoured with the same honour as the Father. God cannot share His honour with another, that is idolatry and inconsistent with His moral goodness, which means that Jesus is not another god, but God himself. Not a messenger or revealer of God, but God revealed in human form. 
    • Why is it so important that we get this? Because We must honour Jesus the Son, and believe in His name if we are to attain this Resurrection life.
  • What is the resurrection life?
      • V28-29 we see that the resurrection life speaks to a future event where the dead will physically be raised by the voice of Christ, be renewed in glorified physical bodies and life in the presence of God without sin and suffering (this was a fundamental belief among the Jews from the OT and has always been essential Christian teaching).
      • BUT there is something else present about the resurrection life: 
        • V24 anyone who believes in Jesus (present) passes from death to life. So this isn’t a physical death to life, but must be what we can call a spiritual death to life – or in other words a release from spiritual condemnation to resurrection life. 
        • V25 perfectly illustrates what’s called “now and not yet” reality of what we call the end times. The resurrection will happen, but right now its starting. We can have a foretaste of the resurrection life in Jesus while we wait for its full reality to arrive. 
      • The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians (Eph 1:14) calls this resurrection life an inheritance, or something we receive as being children of God. But that right now we receive a down-payment on that inheritance in the form of the Holy Spirit. 
        • The presence of God’s Holy Spirit provides the transformative power so that we can presently live life fully, abundantly, in a new way. A way that is unlike our old sinful broken pasts but in the design and purpose of God our Father and Creator. When we live in the Spirit we experience resurrection life. 
    • What is so incredible here is that the resurrection life and avoidance of condemnation comes from believing the word of God regarding Jesus! Its not through hard work or radical self-improvement, but simple trust and faith. Believing that Jesus is God, that He lived His human life to die on the cross as a sacrifice for sin in our place. Being guilty before God, Jesus has died to grant us a pardon, and from God’s forgiveness we gain access to Him as a true source of life. 
  • What does the resurrection life look like today?
    • We are tempted to think that the resurrection life of the future is a spirit life – floating souls and a cloudy heaven – and so the resurrection life today focuses on things of the spirit and not of material existence. BUT in v28 the dead come out of graves to new life. The future resurrection is inherently material and so is the present foretaste of this life.
    • For most of this excerpt Jesus is showing how He is God, and as God in human form perfectly reveals God’s character – who God is – to us.
      • Jesus previously heals a man of his disability. 
      • You can go over and over the gospels and see time again that Jesus cares a lot for the material and physical lives of people
      • If we think about it, we see here God has daily care over the material world and lives of His people.
    • If this is God’s attitude towards creation, towards the physical and material, that it is something good rather than something frail to be discarded then our resurrection life should embrace this mentality too. 
    • What I mean is that far too often we come to God hoping to gain insight into a higher or more spiritual way to life and to leave the broken, hopeless material everyday world behind. This eventually leads us to living lives of puffed up pride and egoism over and against “unspiritual” people. 
      • But resurrection is a restoration. An enhancing of something already given. John’s book of Revelation describes not an eternity in heaven but a new earth. Restored and enhanced material existence lived according to the design and purpose of God (who by the way created the world as something good in the first place).
  • We can have resurrection life from Jesus and we can begin experiencing it today. But the real experience of resurrection life today, but it is not a life of avoidance and escape from the world around us but it is one that embraces the brokenness of the world in hopes to restore, rebuild, and heal.