Friday, May 9, 2014

Up or Down?

John 6:34-40

Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always." And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

It doesn't get much better than this. Remember the words Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman? "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."

These people were still just wanting the bread but not understanding that it was He. We also look to the natural things in life to sustain us when it is only He who gives real life.

Does it amaze you like it does me that the idea of "up" is always good and "down" tends to refer to not so good? Jesus told the Samaritan woman and these people that we will be raised up, as He was, if we eat of the bread He gives and drink of His living water, which springs up and brings everlasting life. There's always a condition. No way around it, ever.

We see evidence of Jesus daily that we cannot deny His existence. He was with the Father in the beginning at creation. So He was part of creating what we see today. He came in human form that people might see Him and believe. Many saw and did believe and passed their encounters on down through the ages. Testimonies of Jesus. Yet many saw and did not believe. I guess there will always be skepticism or unbelief.

Jesus came down from heaven. That act resulted in His death. But it also resulted in life. Just as He came down and was raised up, so we can be. We are born down here on earth and the end result is death. This death is permanent. We do not come back, as some might believe (reincarnation). After death, however, there is more, one of two directions we God's design. Which "more" do we choose? If we choose Christ, we have eternal life. If we do not choose Him we have eternal death. Up or down? The condition, the result.

We can be raised up like He was. He said that the will of His Father was that He give His life, that we might see and believe and be raised up. Who would want to pass this up? Jesus even bluntly told these people that they saw but still did not believe. I know it's difficult sometimes to imagine what we have not seen. But our childlike faith, which Jesus asks we have, has to believe that He was raised up and that all He says is true and if that IS true, we also will be raised up...if we take hold of salvation through Jesus alone. Lose our life to Christ to have life.

I think if anyone then followed Jesus repeatedly they might have finally understood what He was saying. It's like that for us when we read His Word. Staying in the Word helps us to understand, opens up our understanding. Brings aha moments.

A fountain of water springing up into everlasting life, bread that never causes hunger...that everyone who believes in Him may have everlasting life and will be raised up at the last day. We all know that heaven is up, so where does that place hell? We give in to Jesus and all He has to give or remain content believing we are good to go on our own. It's a choice we make.

Matthew 16:25-26 - For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

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