“Because I live, you also will live”
Today’s and tomorrow’s chapters in John’s Gospel are two of the most meaningful in the whole of the Bible. We must not make the mistake, as sadly some do, of plucking a few of the words out of their context.
An essential theme in these chapters is to see that Jesus is talking about relationships: first, his relationship with his father – and then with those who truly believe. The result of fully believing in him leads to belief and a relationship with the Father. This leads to a relationship with the Spirit of God which we notice is three times called “the Spirit of truth” (14:17; 15:26; 16:13).
When Jesus said, “Because I live, you also will live” it is evident that he was not talking of normal human life. His resurrection will reveal that, it will turn their hearts from utter despair – to absolute wonderment!
We notice the future tense, “you also will live”! In what way? He had already said, in telling them of his own future, “in the new world when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 18:28). This was a specific promise to the faithful disciples.
Let us understand the link between this and his promise to them we read in chapter 14! Many misunderstand his words, “Let not your hearts be troubled … In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (verses 1-3). We are told in so many places in scripture further details of “the new world” – it is clear that the whole world becomes “the Father’s house”.
In a sense it always has been “the Father’s house”, note how the Lord caused Isaiah to write of himself, that He was the one who “formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): ‘I am the LORD, and there is no other’” (Isaiah 45:18). These are some of the scriptures which give the same message from God – of his purpose with the earth: Daniel 2:44; 7:18,27; Zechariah 14:9; Psalms 2:6-8; 22:27.
We are reading in Ezekiel of a wondrous future house or temple. Let us link this with what we read earlier in John’s gospel of Jesus condemning the Jews in the temple that then existed, saying “do not make my father’s house a house of trade” (John 2:16).
Through Ezekiel we have a picture of a far greater house (Temple) the Father will cause to be erected – and the resurrected disciples will one day occupy rooms in that house as they judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus is saying to all who listen to him through reading his word, “Because I live, you also will live”. Are you listening?