When History Changes with Brandon Williams
- April 18, 2019
- Guest Writer
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though He die yet shall he live. And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25, 26)
These famous words of Jesus are like an Internet Exchange Point (IEP). IEP’s are a hub for Internet traffic as it goes from one network to the next. The resurrection of Jesus is a similarly massive concept because life’s greatest realities lead us right to it.
The first of those giant realities is God’s voice in the in the pages of the Bible. In those words He has promised a future resurrection (e.g. Gen. 22:1-14 cf. Heb. 11:19, Ezek. 37:1-14, Is. 26:19, Daniel 12:1-3). In a very real sense the whole Old Testament story has rising from the dead as a primary theme (Luke 24:45-47). We can say these resurrection Scriptures weave together and thread their way right through this beautiful little text. They run straight to Jesus. Which means, Jesus is making a “bigger than the internet” kind of claim here. He’s saying that He’s the Lord (cf. Exod. 3, “I AM”), and the Scriptures in the Old Testament were promising His future resurrection.
Second, the resurrection of Jesus is reshaping our world. It’s why Jesus adds in the word, “life” along with resurrection. To have life again is actually the whole point of the resurrection. It means that death – separation from God and physical death itself – have marked every aspect of our existence on this planet. If there’s going to be freedom from that dark experience it can only come through a renewal. Better yet, a resurrection. So it is that the hope of the whole world – like a gigantic bundle of coaxial cables carrying tons of virtual content – runs right into John 11:25. Jesus was claiming to be the person who makes all things new. His work won’t be fully realized until He comes again, but the renovation project is already underway. The church may have plenty of room to apologize for past failures; she does. Nevertheless, the bright light of resurrection life is shining through her as Jesus, alive from the dead, brings new life to our planet.
Third, with the promise and hope of resurrection comes the prospect of real life change for people. It’s like this: the Internet holds massive influence in our world because it can download mountains of information to our individual lives. Societal and cultural change then happens one person at a time, sometimes very rapidly. That’s a parallel for the way Jesus brings new resurrection life to bear on this world: He changes individual people by making them alive to God through the good news about Him. They then transform their corner of the world and make it shine with resurrection life.
The potential for that kind of transformation is one reason Jesus pauses to ask life’s most important question: Do you believe this? Like an Internet Exchange Point this is where the reality of the resurrection can intersect with your life and through you transform the world. May it be.