- Chad Werkhoven
John 5:24-30 - All Rise
All people will rise from the grave... the question is what will you rise to?
Read / Listen
Read John 5:16-30
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things [healing people] on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 45
Q. How does Christ’s resurrection
A. First, by his resurrection
he has overcome death,
so that he might make us share
in the righteousness
he won for us by his death.
Second, by his power we too
are already now resurrected to a new life.
Third, Christ’s resurrection
is a guarantee of our glorious resurrection.
Be thankful for the Jewish establishment that constantly pestered Jesus. We're going to be reading about confrontations Jesus had with them both today and tomorrow. I imagine there was an element of anger and frustration in Jesus' voice as He responded to them, but yet it's these sort of impassioned explanations Jesus gives that form the basis for the doctrines that comfort us the most.
In today's passage, Jesus is being hassled because the establishment has concluded that Jesus was breaking Sabbath law by healing people, and even worse, that He was making Himself equal to God by calling God His own Father (v18). In setting them straight, Jesus makes some stunning claims.
Jesus here says that "all who are in their graves will hear God's voice and come out (v28-29)." According to Jesus Himself, all of the dead will hear the voice of God and will live (v25)! Eternal life is not just for Christians! But this isn't necessarily good news, for the first thing people will face after coming out from their graves will be a sorting, in which those who've done good will rise to life, while the evil doers will rise to be condemned (v29).
Were it not for what Jesus had just said prior to this, even Christians would be tossed about by doubt, constantly wondering what they'll wake up too when God calls all people out of the grave. Will they way they lived be considered 'good enough' to pass God's sorting, or not?
That's why you need to know v24 well:
Whoever hears my voice and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged, but has crossed over from death to life.
You have a ton of things you're worried about today, ranging from a never ending to-do list to wondering if your relationship with so and so will ever be restored. Certainly all of these sorts of things are important, and you are not only welcomed, but invited to bring them to the Lord in prayer.
But knowing what you've been reminded of in these words of Jesus today - that life is really short compared to the eternity you will face when you step out of the grave, and that most of the things you're worried about right now will soon pass away - will help keep you grounded and aligned with these truths that so many people are completely distracted from.
If you hear Christ's voice and believe Him, know that not only are you guaranteed that you will be physically resurrected on that final day, and that you already have eternal life and will not be judged.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who raises all to eternal life and who has given Jesus the authority to judge;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will be reminded often that salvation is not just a future benefit, so that you will keep your heart and mind set on things above already now.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Matthew 15