There’s been a few threads bouncing around John’s gospel about life and death, light and dark, knowing God. John’s talking about the salvation Jesus brings us the whole time, but sometimes pulling threads together is difficult. The whole Bible talks about Jesus dying on the cross to save us from our sin against God.He pays our penalty so we can be forgiven and live forever.
But sometimes we think about that as just a business transaction. As if Jesus pays something on our behalf and in return we’re allowed to have our lives keep running forever. Oh, and there’s something about a Holy Spirit in there somewhere. But John helps us see something very personal, relational and intimate in how it all takes place; the cross unites us to Jesus by the Spirit.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Beforelong, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live,you also will live. Onthat day youwill realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:18-20)
Jesus is talking about when God would send his disciples the Spirit, after he rises from the dead and goes to be with God. And he says that we will live because he himself lives, risen to life. But look at why: I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
Jesus is talking about the relationship between himself and God the Father – they are totally united. So united they have their life in each other somehow. The life in Jesus is the Father’s very life. This life subjected itself to death. But then it overcame death, rising to life and defeating death forever because Jesus was perfectly good and innocent.
In paying for our sin on the cross Jesus removed the barrier between us and God. We are washed clean if we trust in Jesus’ death and the way is open between us and God. And so Jesus says I will come to you. When the Spirit comes into our hearts the very life of the risen Jesus, the life that is perfect in God’s eyes and has overcome death forever, comes into us.
Because I live, you also will live. This is what Jesus called being born again in chapter 3. I’m still me, I don’t lose who I am. But the old sinful life in me is dead and the life in me now is new life, the life of the resurrected Jesus, by his Spirit living in me.
The wonder of the Christian life is that God calls us to be a part of the relationship he has between Father, Son and Spirit. We share in the love between Jesus and his Father, we share in the mission the Father has sent his Son to do by sharing the good news of Jesus, all by his Spirit alive in us.
Head: What have you learnt about Jesus in these verses? What have you learnt about yourself?
Heart: How do you feel about Jesus living in you by his Spirit? How might it shape the way you see your life and the things you value?
Hands: In whatever situation you’re in today, what will it look like to live out God’s love in Jesus to those around you?
Prayer: Heavenly Father I praise you for the amazing thing you have done for me and in me through the cross of Jesus. Thank you for giving me your very Spirit to live in me, to give me new life united to your Son Jesus. Please enable me by your Spirit to live out your love to people in this world.
A song to listen to: Alive
Ryan Dehnert – Cross Culture Connect Pastor