Happy resurrection Sunday! If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Exodus 38, John 17, Proverbs 14, Philippians 1. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read John 17.
In the next chapter Jesus was arrested and the events that led to his crucifixion and resurrection began. When it came to preaching, healing (except for Malchus’ ear), and discipling the apostles, Christ’s work is finished. This is the finality Jesus felt when he prayed here in John 17:4: “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” Though the crucifixion and resurrection were also an essential part of his mission, those would be done to him rather than by him, so his active work is done. Now his request is that God would glorify him so that he may glorify God (v. 1b). The specific way which he would do this is explained in verse 2: “that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.” Notice that the authority Jesus has is over all people (v. 2a) but eternal life only goes to those given him by the Father (v. 2b), namely those God has chosen. And what is this eternal life? Well, it’s less about a life that never ends than it is about knowing God who is eternal: “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Anyone who is interested in the gospel as a free ticket to heaven but without any desire to know and follow God is not a believer. The work of salvation is primarily about reconciling us to God and beginning a relationship of worship and obedience to him as Lord. This is real life and the fact that it is eternal is a side effect of it being given by God. Everything God does is eternal so the life that we receive that causes us to know and follow him is also eternal.
Easter Sunday always fills the chairs in our church; it is like this in almost every church in America. Many of these people are going to church out of tradition but would you pray with me that the Lord would send us some whom he is drawing to himself? Would you pray that they would find eternal life today in our church or at least begin attending our church so that they can start to understand God and all that he offers us by grace?
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.