Read Isaiah 25
Focus on verse 8
What if I told you that the ever-elusive fountain of youth that enables humans to live forever is now freely available to anyone who wants it. It has, in fact been available for a very long time. This mythological fountain that enables humans to live eternally was not something hidden that had to be found, but rather, was something planned to be given to us right from the beginning. The reason humanity relegated it to the realm of myth and a legend is because we misunderstood how it works. We were under the impression that it would be something that would enable our current physical bodies to stop aging and live eternally in the world, as we now know it. As it turns out, the plan involves a regeneration of sorts, by which our bodies are traded in for an infinitely superior, upgraded version. What makes it confusing is that the transition at this point makes it necessary for our current physical bodies to age and deteriorate until the physical shell actually dies and decays returning to the dust from which it was formed. It is at the point of death that the person who occupied that physical shell is transformed. Here is where it gets confusing because no one has actually gone through this process and come back to tell us how it works – well – wait now – correction, there was One – His name is Jesus, and His life is recorded in the first four books of the New Testament. It is primarily His words and the record on those who witnessed His regeneration from which we are able to piece together what we believe the process is most likely to be like. We also have a few hints from the Old Testament like the one we find in today’s reading in Isaiah where he says:
He will swallow up death forever;
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
And the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
For the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 25:8)
From the context it would seem “He” in this case is God himself. So what Isaiah is foretelling is the day when God will conquer death forever, and remove all suffering and shame from all the earth. As we put this together with what the New Testament has revealed, it would seem that part of this took place when Jesus died on the cross thereby taking upon Himself the penalty for all the sin of humanity. God the Father essentially exacted the sentence of death that humanity deserved upon God the Son, who willingly accepted the punishment we deserved. This act removed the sentence of death that we as humans rightfully had earned. It was by this act of Jesus that the power of death was destroyed. From here on, only those who choose death by rejecting Christ will have to endure the punishment they have earned. So you see, eternal life… the fountain of youth… it is available to any person who chooses to believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave to pay the penalty that we had earned. This sets us free to enter into a new life, an eternal life that does not end when our physical body dies. Rather, it is at this point that we are transformed, given that new upgraded body that lasts forever. While I admit that I am looking forward to the day when my body will be upgraded, I am in no great hurry to rush through this life to get there, because as a follower of Jesus, this life is also awesome. (Notice I didn’t say it was easy.) Following Jesus in this life can be costly and exhausting, but it is awesome because He always gives us just enough strength and energy and determination to get through whatever it is He has led us into. There are also significant rewards along the way…like the fellowship of like minded followers of Jesus… and the unexplainable joy that He gives us, even in the midst of suffering… and few things compare to the elation of witnessing the light come on in the eyes of a person when they for the first time when truly understand that they can live forever as the Holy Spirit of God reveals to them the reality of eternal life.
I’ve heard it said that “life is good” and it is good, and how much better it will be to live in that good life forever?