I wish I had a good story about saving someone’s life. I don’t actually wish a life-endangering situation on anyone. I don’t really want to go through the effort and trauma of having to swim to a drowning child, or push a car off of the railroad tracks. It would just be cool to say, “Yeah, I saved someone’s life one time.”
Maybe I’ve watched too much MacGyver. Wait. I didn’t mean that.
But, there’s a major problem with saving people’s lives in our world: they will always die later, anyway.
That’s why God doesn’t heal every disease, or answer every prayer for a dying relative. He could heal you now, and He just might. But you will still end up dead later. It would only be a treatment for the symptom, and not a cure for the disease.
And that thought brings us to the “how” of the Gospel. How do you really save a life? By getting rid of Death. And how does God intend to accomplish that? Through the resurrection of Jesus.
As we saw in my first post in this series, Paul referred to Christ as the “firstfruits” of resurrection (read 1Corinthians 15:12-28). “Firstfruits” is, of course, an agricultural term. And, just as it sounds, it refers to the first harvest, the early, limited crop of mature fruit that is a sign of the bigger harvest to come. In other words, Jesus is just the first of many who will come back from the dead to never die again (see John 5:28-29).
This is why the Bible speaks so often of “eternal life,” which is a term that is not so much about longevity as it is about life without Death and all of the horrible things that go with it (sin, disease, famine, war, sorrow, etc.). This is also why the New Testament associates that eternal life with Jesus Christ (e.g., John 3:16). To put it plainly, Jesus is the cure for Death. At least, that’s what He said:
John 11:25 (ESV)
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…
So Jesus, the Son of God, came in the flesh, as a mortal human being. As a representative human He slept, hungered, and died, as all men do. But then He came back to life…for good. And so can we.