Our part in the resurrection

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This is he who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the spirit is the one who testifies, because the spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his son. Whoever believes in the son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his son. Whoever has the son has life; whoever does not have the son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:6-12 ESV)

When I was young, I read Brewster’s Millions. The concept of the book lingered in my imagination for years. A man was left a large sum of money by a rich grandfather. An uncle, who didn’t like the grandfather, left the man a second inheritance, much larger than that from the man’s grandfather. To receive the much larger gift from the uncle, the man had to spend the smaller inheritance from the grandfather, and do so with several strange caveats.

Some years later, with some adjustments to the story, a movie, based on the book, was made. All it served to do was double my intrigue and imagination.

I often caught myself wondering what such a quandary would do to me. I often imagined what it would be like to get one inheritance; that alone was something I could not wrap my mind around – well, that is, until I met Jesus.

Today’s passage fascinates me. When John says Jesus was “the spirit and the water and the blood,” John is telling us that Jesus was equally fully man and fully God. He really was a man. He was blood and he was water. He had a real, physical body, and he was fully God.

The great story of resurrection day is that the spirit raised the body. That is to say, when Jesus was crucified –when his body literally died—he did not remain dead. The mortal body was killed and raised back to life by immortal God.

Life is what happens when one believes on the name of Jesus and receives him; such a one is given the right to become a child of God. Then, God’s spirit makes our spirit alive and joins with us. We were only water and blood, but the holy spirit joins with our spirit and God’s life is in us. This means we have the promise of the resurrection in us!

Jesus was the first to raise his body from the dead, which is why New Testament writers call him the “firstborn from the dead.” All who believe on him will join him as future fruits from the dead!

Paul understood this, and he said, “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” (Colossians 1:18 ESV)

John understood this, and he said, “…and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood…” (Revelation 1:5 ESV)

Luke understood this, and, quoting Paul on trial, Luke said, “…that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26:23 ESV)

We have a now inheritance – God in us! We have a coming inheritance – the fullness of God before us!

We cannot use up either inheritance! When we celebrate Jesus being resurrected from the dead, we are looking with loving celebration of his life joined with ours now and in the blessed expectation of his life raising our bodies up from the dead.

Dear friend, please receive this today, “Whoever has the son has life; whoever does not have the son of God does not have life.” Either the life of the son is joined with us in this life, or we do not have the life that will raise up our bodies and give us life forever with him.

Do you have life? Do you have the son? Do you have a part in the resurrection?

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