Live in Jesus

Every year we celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus, but did you know that Jesus brought someone else back to life before He resurrected?

In John chapter 11, we see this story of Jesus bringing his friend back to life who had been dead for 3 days! But before Jesus did that, He had a conversation with the dead man’s sister, Martha. She said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask” (John 11:21 NLT).

Right here Martha is trying to hold on to her faith but you can tell that she is blaming Jesus for her loss. She is totally devastated and disappointed in Jesus, who wouldn’t be?! He claimed to be the Messiah and had done healings all the time, so why didn’t Jesus come heal his friend before he died? She even acknowledges that God honors His requests and could do anything – but clearly she doesn’t think that He can raise Lazarus from the dead. Because she says, “yeah I know he will rise again, but on the last day.” Basically saying, “Jesus, you’re too late. I guess I’ll just see my brother again when I die.”

Okay, we need to talk about this for a second. That last day refers to when the Messiah, or the one who would come to save them from captivity (which we know was Jesus), that he would bring the dead back to life, and they would all live together in Jerusalem after the temple was rebuilt. We as Wesleyans believe that all people will rise again and will be judged for their life here on earth. Then if they believed in Jesus and turned from their sins, then they will spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus and have life forever. And if they reject Jesus as their savior, He is not going to force anyone to spend eternity in heaven with Him, so God will send them to a place where Jesus is not – which is hell.  And since God is the essence of good and there is no good without Him, then hell will be a place of misery and torture. This is why it is so important to accept Jesus as our savior and leave our life of sin (and tell other people about the dangers of sin and the power of Jesus over sin).

Now let’s go back to our story. Martha doesn’t believe the Jesus can bring Lazarus back to the dead in the moment. That is why His response to this is a truth bomb. He says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He is telling her that He is above and over death, that through Him we all have life and don’t have to fear death! Then He says,

“Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die”

John 11:25-26 NLT

This is a really cool promise we have been given and what’s even cooler is that it is FOR EVERYONE! There is no one too good or too bad, no gender or race or wealth that matters. Under Jesus everyone has an equal opportunity to have life – forever!

There are two things Jesus says we need to do to have life. The first one is to believe in him. Okay, what does that look like? Well, when people believe in something, they get excited about it. Have you ever met someone who just made a purchase and all they do is talk about it or show it off?  They are constantly talking about it, thinking about it and want others to experience it with them. So that’s how you show outwardly that you believe in something. We can do the same thing with Jesus. Bring Jesus into your day to day life. Talk about Him, pray to Him, think about Him. Let people know that they are missing out on believing in the coolest guys ever.

Now the second thing Jesus says is to “live in Him.” This sounds weird, I know, but let me put it this way. Think about a chrome books and wi-fi connection.  Without wi-fi your computers will work but it doesn’t really unlock its full capabilities. So you have to get a connection to wi-fi and that requires a password in order for you to use the computer like its meant to be used. But if you walk too far away from the router then what happens? You loose connection. But what if you were to connect directly to the router? Then you would never have to worry about loosing connection (in a perfect world) and always have your computer’s full potential.

We all start our lives out like a computer without a wi-fi connection. We are living our life and then we realize we are missing out on something really good. We are missing joy and connection and feeling fulfilled with our lives. Then we realize that what we are missing is Jesus, so we say, “hey Jesus, I want in on all this! What do I need to do to get this life you are promising?” He says, “Oh awesome! I’ve been waiting for you to ask. The password to the life you are looking for is BelieveinMe. Capital B and capital M, no spaces.” And you’re like, “Cool thanks Jesus! I’ll try that!” So you get connected and realize there’s all these amazing things you can do now. You can talk to people and play games and learn anything and buy cool stuff! But then you decide it’s too overwhelming and you just need a break from it all. So you go on airplane mode and turn off all the good things you had going for you. Then you realize, “I don’t like this. I don’t want to have to live part of my life without wi-fi and all the connection! That’s boring! I want to be connected all the time.” So you decide you are going to plug directly into the router with an ethernet cable so you never have to go without wi-fi. You know you will always be functioning your highest because you are connected to the source. Now you are fully connected to Jesus.

THAT is when you live IN Him. THAT is when you will never die but experience life with Jesus forever. Practically speaking, we do this by spending time reading the Bible and asking questions about it to learn more. We pray, asking Jesus to be our source of life and joy each day. We choose to listen to Jesus and do what He asks of us. Through all of this we can stay connected to Him.

My question to you is the same one that Jesus asked Martha, do you believe that anyone who believes in Jesus will live and if they live in Him will never die? If so, you are going to start seeing more and more ways that God will give you life. He wants to do incredible things through you. Like Lazarus, He is raising you up from a life that left you spiritually dead and giving you a brand new life in Him, not just here and now but even after death.  That is powerful!

I want to challenge you to tell someone this week who doesn’t really have a relationship with Jesus about what He has done in your life. Practice staying connected to Jesus and live in Him.

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