Jesus said unto her,
I am the Resurrection, and the Life:
he that believeth in Me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live
In the book of John, the last miraculous act that the Lord Jesus engaged in before the Pharisees conspired to kill Him (with Caiaphas stating “Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not) was the resurrection of Lazarus. As His “Hour” neared, it becomes even more amazing that the very God Man who demonstrated that He was the Resurrection and the Life, and who was about to make redemption and atonement a reality in time, was nonetheless walking amongst men who would utterly and willingly reject Him. The Bible states “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him” John 12:37-41.
The very same glory that Isaiah saw from a distance (temporally speaking), and no doubt marveled over, these men could not see because ‘darkness had already come upon them.’ Because they were in great darkness, having no Light in them, they could not see, they could not believe — God hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, that God should heal them. They were standing right next to Him; many could no doubt touch Him; they were close enough to physically behold Him, take hold of Him, and partake of Him, the True Tree of Life and Fountain of Living Waters, and yet they wanted nothing to do with Him — they literally hated Life and the goodness that flows therefrom.
Whenever anyone is confronted with the Truth of Christ, whenever the Gospel proclamation goes forth, that person is placed into a situation wherein they will either behold the glory of the Lord (at God’s appointed time) or else darkness will fall upon them and therefore they neither can believe nor will believe the report, the good news and glad tidings, of the Lord. To think that all of eternity hinges (in the physical realm) on how you respond to the words of the Master, even the revelation of Him, is mind-blowing. This is beyond supernatural, beyond the storyline of the greatest science fiction plot; this is your eternal destiny unfolding in time — and the direction of it all depends upon whether you are in a world of darkness or a world of Light; whether God hath blinded your eyes, and hardened your heart (that you should not see with [your] eyes, nor understand with [your] heart), or whether you have been given spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear the glory and voice of the True and living God. This “in time” dichotomy is but a temporal reflection of
Ephesians 1:3-6: “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: 4 According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.”
Perpetual darkness will come upon none who were chosen in Christ, by the Father, from before the world was. Likewise, the True Light will illuminate no one who was not chosen in Christ, by the Father, from before the world was. This choice in eternity has eternal weight and measure in time — for it is one eternal conduit connecting the eternal decree and its fulfillment in our reality. We can say with perfect assurance that God does not play; this is the most pertinent, urgent, and demanding topic that we can set our minds upon. Seeing how no one knows beforehand whether they were chosen in Christ, it behooves us all to seek Him — to seek to be found in Him; to cry out to God, to ask for that Light, to ask for eyes to see and ears to hear Him and His word; to beseech Him for grace and mercy to trust that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Again, it is an eternally frightful thing to be so nigh unto the Word of Truth and yet, to set this Truth at naught because you, for such a brief season in time (compared to eternity) preferred darkness rather than Light.
Finally, listen to these words “If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will [My] Father honour.” Isn’t that the crux of it all? Isn’t the whole purpose of man (that is, if we are in the Light) to lovingly, reverently, and obediently serve our Lord? To serve the Lord is to FOLLOW Him; to join Him (by His grace) as His attendant; to accompany Him knowing that it is He that must first accompany us. It is to be His disciple, to be disciplined in the things concerning Him and His kingdom. It is to side with Him against this wicked world. I want to follow the Light and to be found therein — don’t you? Have you come to that point (or, if you are like me, have you been brought again and again to that point) wherein you are so sick of your own thoughts, your own understanding, your own will, and your own sin that you simply want to be done with it all — ENOUGH! — you want the Lord to have such complete dominion over you (your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions) that no remnant of self can be seen therein. It doesn’t work that way on this side of the grave; nonetheless, my prayer for myself, my family, and for all of God’s people is that He break us down mightily, causing us to submit to His will all the more, and causing us to delight in Him not only as Saviour but as Master, Lord, and King. To Him is all honour due….
To God be the glory.