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Alpha and Omega

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

John 5:24-26

Jesus says, "Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

"For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself."

Genesis, the Book of Beginnings, begins: "In the beginning, God ..." Or in other words, "Before time, God ..." This statement names God as the Primary Cause of everything that follows. The author of Genesis sees no need to make a case for that, he just assumes it. God is the being who preceded life as we know it, who created life as we know it.

Jesus' words are unexpected because this man walking the earth claims to be doing the same thing God did at the time of creation. He claims to bring life where there was no life, he brings life after death. The life Jesus brings transcends any life we can know without him.

Jesus calls his gift "eternal life." Not life for billions of years, but life that is ungoverned by time.

"My Father has granted me to have life in myself." When Jesus says those words he claims precedence over time; he was not created. He always existed, just as did his Father. No wonder the teachers were astounded and angry and afraid. Jesus was insisting that they choose to either follow him into a whole new world or resist him as a charismatic blaspheming lunatic.

Jesus was a kind, wise teacher with the gift of healing. He was a man who chose to sacrifice himself for the sake of the men and women of earth. He lived for a very short life two thousand years ago.

And he was God. He makes sure we know that. He existed before we were created, before time was. In the beginning, Jesus ...

The life you give, Lord, is life indeed. Always and forever to be with you.

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