March 27, 2023

John 11:25, 26 You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?” (The Message Bible)

For those of you who like big words, scholars sometimes say that John in his gospel presents a realized eschatology. My understanding of this is that a quality of the eternal life that Jesus talks about frequently in John’s gospel begins in the here and now as a person finds they have faith in what Jesus did and taught. Death then becomes a transition not to something entirely new but another dimension of something already begun. This life is not a test to decide if you deserve heaven. It is the first episode in the existence we were always intended to have. People sometimes speak of heaven on earth. Jesus claimed to make that true on at least some level. He didn’t teach pie in the sky when you die by and by. He taught real life with God that starts now and goes on forever. And so he asks, as he did to Martha above, “Do you believe this?”

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