Have you ever stopped to consider what “real living” is? Many of us are raised in routines, starting school at five years old, going until eighteen, then a new routine of college or work, then starting a career…you know, the basics. But is that living? What does it mean to be alive? Blood pumping through your veins? Eating? Talking? Having activities to do?
On occasion Jesus made fairly radical, and difficult to understand statements. For instance:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
– John 14.6
Now, we can understand to an extent Jesus saying, “I am the way”. It is noteworthy, however, that He did not say He would show us the way, rather that He is the way. If we are on a trip, we need a GPS or a map to tell us which roads to take and where to turn. If we are intending to go to Heaven, we have to be in Jesus. We do not follow Jesus down a path, we get in relationship with Him and remaining close to Him takes us to Heaven. He is the way.
His claim to be “the truth” can also cognitively be grasped, to an extent, in our carnal minds. Is there truth outside of Jesus? If we understand Jesus as the author of creation, as God, then we realize that He wrote all empirical laws, He established the order of life, the universe, natural cycles, and dreamed up all intelligence and applications of it. But what does “the truth” mean? He is the only way to salvation, no other religions or efforts will earn us eternity in grace. All other religions and efforts to appease God are lies. Jesus is the truth.
Lastly, He claimed to be “the life”. This one, I believe, is the most difficult to grasp. Paul teaches us that until we come to Jesus for forgiveness, we are all spiritually dead (Eph 2.1). We are corpses walking around, living for our flesh. I have heard it said that apart from Jesus, we are all spiritually dead, though at different points of decay. Some people look almost lifelike: they are moral, they are kind, they do good deeds, and some people are just bones with all of the flesh rotted away: the murder people, they commit crimes, they are people that society would lock up in prison and throw away the key. But our root problem is the same: we are all dead, spiritually.
Jesus gives Spiritual life. He gives physical life, too, but to have life – and have life to the fullest – is to be Spiritually alive and abiding in Jesus (John 10.10). Jesus offers us Spiritual life, and this is the life that is the fullest. It is satisfying. It may not be full of physical pleasures, but it affords true joy and eternal hope and peace. This is life. Being in Jesus. Do you have that life? Or are you a corpse walking around, in some phase of decay? Or are you assured of eternal hope in Jesus? If you want to have that life, claim this promise and ask God to make you alive:
“Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.”
– Deut 30.6