Life

Eternal life is found in God’s Son, not in science

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Read: 1 John 5:1-12

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)

Reflect:

I once heard pop-culture science journalist Karl Kruszelnicki speak to a cohort of Australian school students. It was the year 2000, the new millennium, a year of hopes, dreams and new starts, the year the Olympics came to Australia and I met and married my husband. Then a high school science and maths teacher, I was keen to hear what Kruszelnicki had to say, but I remember only one thing from his talk.

Kruszelnicki told the students that, given the speed of scientific discovery and development, he thought their generation would either be the last generation to die or the first generation to live forever.

Such a bold claim. It seemed far fetched to me then, and more so now, but it has stuck with me for 18 years. We may have discovered quarks and found evidence for bosons, identified telomeres and perfected gene splicing techniques, but still, doctors can’t bring someone back from the dead when they are even three days in the grave, like Jesus did.

I am certain that I know a far better, more reliably guaranteed route to eternal life than any scientific, medical and technological advancement. I know this method works because it has been proven, and the historical evidence for its successful occurrence is overwhelming. God has given me eternal life, and this gift of eternal life is found in his Son, Jesus Christ – the first to be raised from the dead by the Father.

If I relied on Kruszelnicki’s science to keep me alive I’d either be devastated when I die despite all science can do, or I’d be disappointed by an elongated life stretched thin at the edges, lacking the abundance and fullness of life in Jesus Christ. I put my faith in Jesus Christ and God’s gift, not in the alluring false promises of Kruszelnicki or any other scientific prophet.

Crux:

Eternal life is found in God’s Son, not in science.

Respond:

LORD God Almighty,

You have the words of eternal life.
You are Source and Sustainer, Sacrifice and Saviour.
You are the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End,
the everlasting One who was and is and is to come, the I AM.

I bow my head in reverential awe before you.

Science, medicine and mathematics are great, but they can’t measure you, they can’t describe you, they can’t explain you, they can’t reveal you. Only your Son, your Spirit, your Scripture can do that.

In Scripture, I see your generosity to me in sharing your life with me in your Son.

In the testimony of your Spirit, I know the truth that Jesus is the Son of God.

In your Son, I have eternal life, abundant life, that does not rely upon medicine or technology, but upon the Creator of the Universe, who does not fail.

Thank you.

Amen.

Echoes

The Jesus who appeared to his disciples after his death was the same Jesus who died

Read: John 21

Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” (John 21:10)

Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. (John 21:13)

Again Jesus said, “Simon, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” (John 21:16)

Then he said to him, “Follow me!” (John 21:19b)

Reflect:

This final chapter of John’s gospel reads like a series of echoes of the events of Jesus’ ministry. It describes a third appearance of Jesus to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. The disciples didn’t at first recognise Jesus, but the sequence of events on this occasion must have reminded them of all that had gone before.

Jesus met them on the shore after a long night of fishing. I wonder if they recalled the day Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt 4:19)

Jesus took bread and fish and gave it to them to eat. I suppose they must have remembered the day Jesus fed 5000 men and their families and later declared, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry.” (John 6:35)

Jesus told Simon to feed and take care of his sheep. Simon must have thought of the day Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd… I lay down my life for my sheep.” (John 10:14-15)

Jesus told Peter to follow him, and he must have remembered that day just a short time ago when Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Crux:

The Jesus who appeared to his disciples after his death was the same Jesus who died – and his message was the same good news message.

Respond:

LORD God Almighty,

You are the same yesterday, today and into tomorrow. You are the Alpha and the Omega; the First and the Last; who was, who is and who is to come. Holy, holy, holy are you, my LORD God Almighty.

Jesus, you are IT. You are the crux of all creation, the true centre of the universe. And the message you came to teach is the same message that changed all and changes all.

You call me out of my old life, making me new. May I leave that life far behind.

You feed, sustain and nourish me. May I eat and be satisfied.

You call forth my love for you and command me to love your “sheep”. May I love well and dearly.

You are the One Way to the Father, and you call me to follow you. May I follow in your steps all the days of this eternal life you have granted to me.

Amen.