THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019
Michael Clark, M.Div. ’18 / Elizabeth, Pa.
SCRIPTURE: John 5:19-29
19 Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.
20 The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.
21 Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes.
22 The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son,
23 so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
24 Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.
25 Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself;
27 and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
28 Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice
29 and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”
In this discourse Jesus makes clear his identity with God. Whoever sees and hears Jesus sees and hears God. Whoever honors Jesus honors God. Jesus is Immanuel, God-with-us. The name does not tell us where God is; rather, it tells us where we are—we who know Jesus are in the presence of God. It is for this reason that we can trust in the authority of Jesus to judge, and we can rejoice in the grace of Jesus to give life.
Jesus both assures us of eternal life in the future resurrection and declares that “the hour . . . is now here” when we who were dead in sin may have new life in Christ. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). As we wait and prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, let us remember that we need not wait for the presence of God to bring life and hope and joy to our lives and our communities.
O Lord our God, we thank You and praise You. Teach us to celebrate the resurrection not only as something that will come, but also as something that is already happening. Even as you granted to Jesus to have life in himself, hallelujah, you have given us life in Jesus, in whose name we say: Amen!