Life in Christ
I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
Martha believed in the resurrection at the last day; but that seemed far away, while her heart craved a present comfort. It was to this feeling, which many another mourner besides Martha has experienced, that our Lord spoke these wonderful words. His answer shows that He Himself is the bridge of life that unites the shores of eternity and time, filling up the dark chasm, and bringing the resurrection and life eternal close to earth’s death.
The resurrection is not far away, for it is all in Christ’s hands. When His believing ones die they but sleep in Him. They are not really dead; indeed, those believing on Him never die at all. What we call dying is only passing through the gate into the immediate presence of Christ. Christ has abolished death. To Him death was real and full of terrors. But because it was so terrible to Him, it is only an entrance of glory for His people. He absorbed the blackness and the gloom in His own soul, as He passed through the valley, and left it a vale of brightness for His followers.
If we could all get into our hearts the truth of the immortal life as revealed in the gospel, it would take away all the gloom from the graves of our dead. Those who live here are in Christ, and those who have passed over are with Christ; thus in Him we are still united. There is but one family in Christ, — part gone over, and part crossing now, soon all to be together..
This truth of the endless life is one of marvelous power when we have, even in the least measure, realized it. Death is not the end of anything but of mortality, imperfection, and sin. Life goes on fuller, richer, nobler, with enlarged capacities, beyond the incident which we call death. We shall never die.