Christ in the Scriptures (John 5:39)
Christ Is Eternal Life.
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” (John 5:39 NKJV)
Those particular individuals Jesus spoke with that day, the same ones who wanted to kill Him for claiming to be equal with God the Father, got one thing right. They were correct to believe that eternal life is to be found in the Scriptures (the Bible). The problem is that they themselves had not actually found eternal life there (or anywhere, for that matter). Why not? Because they had rejected the Person the Scriptures point to. In rejecting Jesus, they wound up rejecting the Scriptures as well. These very religious people had unknowingly rejected the very Scriptures they thought they knew so well, and thought they loved so much, and thought they so meticulously obeyed. They failed to grasp that the Scriptures, from beginning to end, speak of Christ, the very same person who was speaking to them, Jesus, the Son of God. In fact, the reason the Scriptures exist, their primary purpose, is to present Christ to us. Christ is claiming that He Himself brings us eternal life, through the Scriptures. They allow us to know Him, since we can’t see or hear Him directly with our physical senses. We may not be able to see Him here and now with our eyes or touch Him with our hands, but the Scriptures make it possible for us to be with Him, actually in His presence. Through these encounters with Him, Christ gives us eternal life.
Christ’s words to those particular individuals so long ago could not be more relevant to us, living now. What He said to them that day, He says to all of us, to anyone who will listen: that to understand and believe the Scriptures is to have faith in Him. It goes the other way as well. To have faith in Christ is to understand and believe the Scriptures. This is so, because there is a profound connection between Christ, who is the Word of God in the form of a Person, and the Scriptures, which are the written “word of God”. How are we to understand this connection between the “Word” and the “word”? How do the Scriptures allow us to actually be with Christ? The answer is, the Holy Spirit. The Gospel of John doesn’t say it exactly in those words, but I believe it’s one of the foundational messages it tries to communicate to us about the Son of God and His Spirit. The Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures to teach us about Christ. As we read about Christ in the pages of the Scriptures, the Spirit of Christ reveals Christ to us, personally and relationally. He brings us into Christ’s presence, spiritually, that is, Holy “Spiritually”. He makes it possible for me, in reality, to be with Christ, here and now, wherever and whenever.
Through the hearing, reading and preaching of Christ in the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit does things in my heart. He touches my soul, my inner self, and introduces me to the Son. Not just once, but many times. Potentially, every day. And the Son introduces me to His Father, God the Father. The Son of the Living God takes up the cross, giving His own life for us, to bring us forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with the Father. Then the Son takes up His life again, to give us eternal life. This is the teaching of the Scriptures. This is the Gospel. The immediate purpose of the Scriptures is to let me know Christ, person to person, face to face, and be saved by that encounter, and continue to be saved by those encounters. So that He and I can be together, and so that I can come to know Him more deeply, because He already knows me completely. The Scriptures have been Divinely inspired so that I can welcome Christ into my life as my Lord and my God, to love Him and worship Him as the Son of God who gave Himself on the cross to save me from sin and death. This is what it means to experience eternal life. Eternal life is to know relationally, the Father through the Son in the Spirit. Eternal life is to know Christ now, and to be with Him forever.
Christ is Eternal Life.