“I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.”
On Easter Sunday morning, a 25-year-old law student was not registered to run in the Austin Capitol 10,000, but he received an extra race packet from a friend.
Because of this, he was able to run with his girlfriend and her parents, whom he was meeting for the first time.
The biggest surprise of the day was not that he ran the race. Rather, it was that a quarter-mile from the finish line he experienced cardiac arrest and dropped to the pavement dead.
Fortunately, paramedics were at hand and within 30 seconds they were at his side to administer CPR and shock his heart back into action with a defibrillator.
In the moments that this young man lay dead on the ground, what could he do to save himself?
He could not administer CPR, mouth to mouth, or use the defibrillator on himself. He could not go to a hospital to get help. He could not even call to the paramedics to come help him.
A dead man can do nothing to bring himself to life. This man is alive today only because someone else acted on his behalf.
In John 5:24, Jesus promises that we can cross from death to life. The death and life referenced in this verse is spiritual and eternal death and life.
The Bible says those who are in sin are spiritually and eternally dead. In our sin we are cut off from God and His life. If we die physically in this state of spiritual death, it becomes an eternal state of death and separation from God. As those who are spiritually dead, we are as helpless to save ourselves as was the young man in the Capitol 10,000.
We cannot erase our sins nor do anything else to make ourselves right before God. We cannot bring ourselves from death to life. Unless someone else acts on our behalf to save us we are without hope.
But the good news of Jesus is that through dying for our sins and rising from death to life did for us what we could never do for ourselves. He rushed to our aide and rescued us from certain death.
In order to pass from death to life, we must hear Jesus’ word and believe in the Father who sent Him to rescue us. His word is the promise of salvation from sin and eternal life to the one who trusts in Him.
When we hear His invitation to salvation and respond by trusting in God, we cross that great chasm from death to life.
Are you dead or alive today? If you are dead in sin, hear His word and believe in the God who arranged for your rescue. If you are alive in Christ, live the new life He has given you for His glory.
Dr. Mark Kemp is pastor of First Baptist Church of Copperas Cove.