I recently heard someone quote a writer who said: “If you don’t think about your future, you cannot have one.” It made me think about Christ’s example of how he intentionally lived his life from beginning to end knowing his future; rejection by the very people claiming they knew God, a public and painful death, and God forsaking him. And without sinning, Christ felt anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. Wow, powerful.
Somehow all of this reminded me, God is a god of order. There are days, seasons, a progression of time, and ages modeled in the scriptures. Life, as we experience it, has a beginning, and a clear end, in that each human being, including Christ, has an expiration date. (see Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 for a clearer statement of God’s order of time). These biblical truths lead me to revisit a verse that God used to show me that God, not time, is never-ending.
John 17:3 says, “Now this is eternal life [aeonios (greek) Chayei Sha'ah (Hebrew)]: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” If I study the word of God – not just read it, as I often do – I find that the Greek and Hebrew words used in this passage have nothing to do with “eternal life” (never-ending life). They actually mean “this age” or “fleeting life” respectively, clearly having nothing to do with life having no end. The verse actually explains more fully eternal life (this age or fleeting life) as a quality of relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ who brings us into a present knowledge and experience with God our Father, El ‘olam (Genesis 21:33). In short, eternal life is knowing intimately the “everlasting God” ( El ‘olam).
So while the word eternal may lead me astray in my thinking, God continues to teach me day by day that He is eternal and I am finite. From God’s example of the 33 years, Jesus Christ ministered on this earth to how I experience everyday deadlines, my full, but fleeting life was given to me for the purpose of eternal life. Where eternal life is a personal, intimate relationship with the Lord. And the good news is that our Lord wants each of us to have this more than we do, time notwithstanding.
I end with this, I was recently challenged with these questions. How many people would die to have what I have? Is anyone envious of my relationship with the Lord? If not, then am I experiencing eternal life as the Bible describes it and as our Lord Jesus died to give to me?
God tells us in Proverbs “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”, so please feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments.
Candance (Candy) Weaver