I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. – John 11:25
This one statement is among the most bold and definitive acknowledgments of our Lord’s deity. The resurrection is what separates our Lord from a thousand other gurus and prophets who have come down the pike.
This bold declaration is then followed, in the next verse, by life’s bottom-line question. After declaring Himself to be the resurrection and life, the victor over death, our Lord turns to His hearers – and to us – and asks,
Do you believe this? – John 11:26
One of the frustrations of Scripture reading is that, like other writings, it is all linear. Thus, I have often wondered how Jesus spoke this question. Did He ask, “Do you believe this?” Or did He ask, “Do you believe this?” Or perhaps He asked the question thus: “Do you believe this?” Think about it. Life’s bottom-line question is personal, pointed, and precise.
Life’s Bottom-Line Question Is Personal – “Do you believe this?”
Perhaps the Lord put the inflection on the you in His question in order to drive home the fact that it is personal. After all, when it comes to saving faith in the finished work of Christ, what I believe is what matters most… not what my mother or my wife or anyone else believes. My faith is a personal matter between my Lord and me.
In our twenty-first-century gnostic culture, an increasing number of individuals seems to be captivated by various documentaries, movies, and books that question the veracity of the gospel account. To many, the account of the resurrection has been relegated to some ancient shelf of obscurity along with other perceived myths and fables.
Thus, life’s bottom-line question is personal. It might well be that Jesus is still asking today: Do you believe this?
Life’s Bottom-Line Question Is Pointed “Do you believe this?”
It may be that in asking this question, our Lord put added inflection and emphasis on the word believe. After all, faith is the acceptable response to the Christian gospel. Jesus was not inquiring of His hearers as to whether they were giving intellectual assent to His claims. He wanted to know if they would trust in Him and take Him at His word by faith: Do you believe this?
It is one thing to know the gospel story intellectually. It is one thing to attempt to conform ourselves to its claims and seek to take on the new set of moral standards that accompanies its truths. It is even one thing to argue for it apologetically and reason about it. It is, in fact, possible to conform to its claims without being transformed from within by grace and through faith.
Life’s bottom-line question is pointed. Jesus begs to know if you have transferred your own trust from human efforts to Him alone. Has this saving faith, this resurrected life, this “Christ in me” experience made a difference in your life?
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Do you believe this?
Life’s Bottom-Line Question Is Precise – “Do you believe this?”
Now we arrive at the real heart of the issue. True faith must rest on objective truth. Thus, life’s bottom-line question is precise at four very specific points related to Jesus’ claim “I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Do you believe this?
Do you believe Jesus’ claim about deity? When Christ used the phrase I am, it captured the attention of those around Him. Seven times the “I am” expression is recorded in John’s gospel. Whenever our Lord made this statement, those around Him recognized it as an expression of His deity. He was the same God, named “I AM,” who appeared in Exodus 3 at the burning bush. The most fundamental belief in the Christian faith is that Jesus Christ is God Himself clothed in human flesh. He is not merely some figure out of history or the object of some sentimental story from our childhood. He is God. Do you believe this?
Do you believe His claim about death? Jesus said, “Though he may die, he shall live.” Many people live their lives in total denial of their coming appointment with death. It is a fact: we are going to die! Recently, while looking through some pictures from a decade or so ago, I was stunned. My hair was darker then. My face had fewer wrinkles.
It dawned on me that this body of mine has death in it. I am decaying and deteriorating before my very eyes. Oh, I could have plastic surgery or perhaps some liposuction. I can eat vitamin-enriched foods and try to keep my cholesterol down. But none of that can stop the fact that I continue marching toward an appointment with eternity.
Do you believe this?
Do you believe His claim about destiny? Jesus said, “Though he may die, he shall live.” It is strange how so many today live their lives as if this life is all there is. Jesus said that even though death is sure, we are going to live again. The body may die, but not the spirit, not that part of you that will live as long as God lives and will one day be reunited with a glorified body for the endless ages of eternity. We have an eternal destiny. Do you believe this?
Do you believe His claim about deliverance? Jesus says, “Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:26).
The Lord makes it perfectly plain here. Eternal salvation is through faith in Him alone and not through human effort or our own good works or intentions. Do you believe this?
There are a lot of big questions that come our way in life. Where will I attend college? Whom shall I marry? What vocation shall I pursue? Where should I live? But there is only one big question in death: “Do you believe this?”
That’s it! It is personal. Do you believe this? It is pointed. Do you believe this? And, it is precise. Do you believe this?
Finally, note Martha’s reply in the next verse: “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (John 11:27).
As you memorize this verse, meditate on Martha’s reply.
Would you join her by simply professing to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ!” And then you will begin the great adventure for which you were created in the first place.
Excerpted from The Joshua Code by O. S. Hawkins, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2012.
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Do you believe this? Jesus is asking you! What is your answer to this person, pointed, and precise question? Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear your answer to life’s bottom-line question! ~ Devotionals Daily