Jesus Gives Life
21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so, the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:21-29, NKJV)
5:20-21 Giving Life
Raising the dead is something that God is very good at, and we absolutely have no ability to do. We typically think of people being raised from the dead as a New Testament deal. But don’t forget…
Elijah was used by God to raise a boy from the dead in 1 Kings 17. He carried the boy to his room and put him on his bed:
Then he cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?” And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.” Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived.
And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives!” (1 Kings 17:20-23)
Later, the ministry of Elisha was also evidencing the power of God to raise the dead. A Shunamite’s son died of something like a brain aneurysm. Going out to the field, he said to his father, “My head, my head!” He died that afternoon:
When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in, therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. (2 Kings. 4:32-35)
Another resurrection happened after Elisha himself died and was buried. 1n 2Kings 13 we read that some Israelites were burying a man who had died. At that moment, some Moabite raiders came to plunder and pillage. In a panic, the Israelites threw the body of the dead man into Elisha’s grave. When the dead man touched the bones of Elijah, he came to life and stood up!
So the Jews had seen God raise the dead in the Old Testament, and they were going to see Jesus raise the dead as well.
5:22-24 Eternal Life Or Death And judgment
Your day of judgment will be based on one thing only: did you honor the Son? Did you hear His word? Did you believe the Father who sent Him? If so, you will have eternal life. If not, you will come into judgment.
5:25-29 The Dead Shall Hear
The time was coming that those who heard the voice of the Son of God would live:
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:28-29)
In chapter 11, we will see that standing in front of the tombs, Jesus:
Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43)
You know, if He hadn’t said, “Lazarus,” everybody in the entire graveyard would’ve been resurrected!
The Two Resurrections
Every person who dies will stand before a seat of God’s judgment. Those who have their names written in the Book of Life will be judged by their good works – because their bad works have been erased by the blood of Jesus. Those who did not receive Christ’s forgiveness will be judged by all of their works. We read in Revelation 20:
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
Everyone who is judged by all of their works will be thrown into the lake of fire because there are no naturally righteous people. Jesus gives life to all who will accept Him.