Advent: Resurrection and Life

December 16, 2014

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…”John 11:25

The coming of Jesus at Christmas isn’t merely the celebration of a life but the celebration of the life. All of life. It is a celebration of the One who was there in and through Creation in the first moments of being. The One who called it all into place; whose voice Creation acknowledges and serves. We celebrate the One who came to visit and renew that which he already held together. He was born in a meager barn stall, but he himself had grown the straw that warmed him and the cloths that wrapped him. He walked on water, all the while holding the very molecules of Hydrogen and Oxygen that held him on the surface. He turned a few loaves and fish into a feast, but he’d been feeding the masses with the bounty of Creation long before the teaching on a hillside that day. And, ultimately, he hung on a cross while forgiving those who placed him there and held together the very ground beneath him, as the nails “held” him still.

There is nothing more alive than Jesus. He is, in his essence, life. But in death, he submitted to his absolute enemy, giving up his very self. Previously, Jesus had said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Herein lays Jesus’ mission statement for his time here on earth in human form: to give us back the life we gave away to death. No wonder his favorite topic in conversation with all he’d meet was always a movement toward life as he intended: full, abundant, re-made, and unending.

In the closing book of the Bible John describes Jesus as, “the firstborn from the dead” (Revelation 1:5). The implication? There’s just simply too much life in Jesus for it to be kept within himself. His resurrection was therefore also ours. And, his defeat of death was also ours. It’s why Paul says to the early Christians that God, “made us alive with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5). This line is actually one word in Scripture: “to be made alive together with.” It’s a concept so unique that Paul had to invent new language. He created a compound verb never seen before in the ancient world . . . because it could never have been even conceived of before Jesus. His life, shared with Creation. His resurrection, shared with everything. Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life.

About the Author
  • Aaron Baart serves as Dean of Chapel at Dordt University, where he provides oversight for Campus Ministries and as co-founder and chair of One Body One Hope, a church-planting, community development, and reciprocal missions organization at work in Liberia and the U.S.

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