And Then?

March 13, 1999
by Dennis Cook

John 11:25-26 – Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me shall live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

Walking on the campus of a famous law school, a man fell into conversation with a student. The man asked the student, "When you have completed your studies, what do you intend to do?
"I shall take my Doctor's degree."
"And then?" asked the man.
"Then I shall impress everyone with my eloquence and learning and gain a great reputation."
"And then?"
"Then I shall be promoted to a high office and make money and grow rich."

"And then?"
"Then I shall live comfortably in wealth and dignity."
"And then?"
"Then I suppose I shall die."
"And what then?"
The student made no answer. Hanging his head he walked away.

We live our lives with many "And thens." Ultimately — inevitably we will be faced with the final "And then?"

In today's verse, Jesus' friend Lazarus had died. There was no doubt about it. He had been dead and buried for four days. Jesus arrived to hear the grief and pain from Lazarus' sisters, Martha and Mary. Jesus offered assurance by saying that Lazarus would rise again. He proclaimed His most wonderful promise to them: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me shall live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die." The life Jesus spoke of is spiritual life. It's the life that is lived with and for God. It's life that is eternal, but it doesn't start in the future at the point of death — it starts with faith in this lifetime. Jesus Christ lives. Through faith, He shares with us His victory over death. This isn't just a wish. It's not just a gamble. It's not an investment that may or may not pay off. It is our assurance.

At the final "And then?" we will not hang our heads. Instead, we will raise our heads in victory and join Christ in saying, "I am the resurrection and the life!"

Prayer: Lord we give you thanks for the blessed assurance that is ours that allows us to face life and death knowing your care is eternal. Amen.

About the author:

Dennis Cook <revdjcook@hotmail.com>
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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