Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 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. (John 5:24–25—NKJV)

What words of sublime hope! Contrast these measured and confident words of Jesus Christ to the blindly desperate words uttered by Robert Ingersoll at his brother’s grave, “Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry.” Please allow me to ask which of these two opposing quotes gives voice to your heart of hearts?

Those who, through faith, have trusted the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross easily recognize that Jesus’ words harmonically vibrate a chord in their heart like the chime of a clock remembered from their childhood. The “vibration” of certain hope uttered by the Son of God is lost to the pagan and the “Christianized” person alike, appearing to each as nothing more than a comforting dream.

The lesson of the Savior in John 5 is that He is the sole dispenser of life. Verse 21 states, “For as the Father raises (awakens) the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.” Through the shedding of His innocent blood upon the cross of Calvary, Jesus atoned for the sin of His own. Therefore, through Jesus’ redemptive purchase of these souls, the Father is able to declare true believers justified before His presence, and entitled to be raised from their graves on the day of resurrection of life. Jesus’ death is sufficient to satisfy God’s just wrath against our sin; in the place of the sentence of death, God grants life.

Man has long known that man is not sovereign over life. He can neither create it nor recreate it. In 2 Kings 5:7, a king of Israel asked, “Am I God, to kill and make alive?” Hannah, Samuel’s mother, uses remarkable words in her prayer recorded in 1 Samuel 2:6, “The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.” Man is not sovereign over life, God and Christ are.

The first proof of Their sovereignty over life is that the Father and His Son have life in Themselves. John 5:26 says, “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself.” Their life is uncreated, as opposed to our life. Life’s value can only be assessed by the Creator. For this reason, the virtue and value of human life, in all its forms, is always held in incalculable esteem by those who are authentically born again.

Secondly, God and Jesus bestow life on believers. Verse 24 states that those who believe have “passed from death into life.” This is not something that can be navigated by any man, but rather must be performed by God. The Greek word used here means to pass out of, and implies a real change from one place to another. The believer has, as a present possession, everlasting life.

Thirdly, the sovereignty of God and the Son over life extends to all men. According to verses 28 and 29, all men, without exception, will be raised in one of two resurrections—those who were not born again to the resurrection of condemnation, destined for an eternity in hell. Only those who are redeemed will be included in the resurrection of life, destined for eternity with God. It is this latter group who are assured through the Bible that they will hear the voice of their dear Lord Jesus when they are called forth from their graves unto life, just as they have heard the voice of the Lord in the Bible when they came before Him in penitential faith trusting in the sufficiency of His redemptive work.

Do you have the assurance of the promise of God in His Word, that He has passed you from death into life? Are you investing in a life of service for Jesus Christ, waiting for His descending from heaven with a shout and catching you up forever to be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16)? Trust and obey.