Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Christians are remarkably good at making Christianity seem remarkably complicated. There are thousands of different books available outlining deep theological issues that Christians and philosophers grapple with. There are countless denominations, all of which seem to believe slightly different things, and to worship in slightly different ways. There are courses, conferences and festivals to attend. Church leaders debate complex issues on whether the church should be doing this or that. All of this makes Christianity seem very difficult to non-Christians. Even Christians find themselves getting tied up in knots about whether they are proper Christians or not!
The fact is, though, that Christianity is actually very simple. God loves us. We let him down and rejected him. He sent Jesus to save us. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. In today’s verses, Jesus sets out one of the basic and most important facets of the Christian faith, and again shows how simple it is to be a Christian. Jesus makes the very bold claim that he is the resurrection and the life. He didn’t say that he was the way to resurrection, but that he actually is. Resurrection is so bound up in the person of Christ that he is actually able to proclaim himself as the resurrection. He then states that whoever believes in him will live, that is, have eternal life. That is all there is to it. If we want to have that eternal life, and live on, even after we die, we have to believe in him. We have to believe that he is the resurrection and the life. We have to believe that he is the Son of God. We have to believe that he died and rose again. If we believe all of this, then we truly believe in Jesus. If we truly believe in Jesus, we too can have resurrection after death, and live on in God’s heavenly kingdom.
Jesus ends his statement with a question. “Do you believe this?” he asked. That’s exactly what he is asking us today. Do we believe this? Do you believe this?