Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. [John 5:24 ESV]
I lived in the state of Washington for a year while doing my internship just north of Seattle. It was my first time living that long outside of my home state of Minnesota. It was great living out there but I still longed for home.
After some time I became homesick for some snow so I decided to drive up to Stevens Pass, one of the ski resorts in the Cascade Mountains. So on my day off I set out on my little day trip but as I started ascending the mountains I came to a check station. The state police where stopping vehicles; highly recommending chains on tires. Of course I didn’t have chains (because us Minnesotans don’t use them) and so I was worried they wouldn’t let me satisfy my craving for snow. When I approached the check station the officer said they were recommending chains due to the heavy snow on the mountain pass. I told him I didn’t have any since I was just out here for a year from Minnesota. He asked for my drivers license (My guess he wanted to confirm my story) and said,
“OK then, being that you’re from Minnesota, you’re probably going to be fine. Go ahead.”
And he let me pass. I was still nervous since I had never driven in mountain snow before but once up there I found that navigating the pass was no problem for this experienced winter driver.
The pass was passable for me.
But the “pass” from death to life is NOT something that can be navigated by the strong or the experienced or the intelligent or wealthy. The “pass” can not be traversed through right thinking or big dreaming. The “pass” from death to life can not be negotiated through force of will.
The “pass” from death to live is only survived because of the One who survived it first: Jesus. When you hear the Word of God and believe in Jesus Christ, you receive eternal life right then and there. No, you are not transported to heaven at that moment; but rather given the hope of the resurrection; which is eternal life here and now.
And it is that hope that gives me strength now as I see the junk and chaos and death that is all around me. It’s the the hope of the resurrection that gives me joy when the world and culture are attacking the Church. It’s this hope that gives me courage when Christian liberty and freedom are being taken away; knowing that my true freedom is through faith in Jesus Christ.
It’s not me that defeats the “pass” but rather the cross of Christ; God’s love and grace for defiant sinners.
So hear the Word of the Lord:
~ You are a sinner worthy of death.
~ Jesus died on a cross that your sins would be forgiven.
~ Jesus rose from the dead that you may live forever.
~ The passage way from death to life has been secured for you.
And best of all, this is all GRACE.
Let Jesus take you over and through the “pass”. Trust him and praise him always and forever.
Holy Father, words cannot express my thankfulness for Your Son, Jesus Christ, defeating death that I my live. Receive me into Your arms through the gift of faith and may the hope of the resurrection give me joy and courage and thus bring You glory here and now and forever. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
The Pastor -|—