When you once comprehend that Jesus is alive, you can never again be the same. It changes everything. Everything.
It is one thing to think that Jesus is a mythical character who never really existed.
It is one thing to think that Jesus was a good man, well-intentioned and sincere.
It is one thing to think that Jesus was targeted unjustly, that he was helpless before his tormentors.
It is one thing to think that he simply died, another victim of another mob, abandoned and betrayed by a government that should, perhaps, have defended him.
It is quite another thing entirely when you softly speak his name, with a questioning upturn in your voice – “Jesus?” – and hear him answer, definitively, firmly, and gently – “Yes. It is I, and how I have longed for you!”
In that moment, right then, the battle is done. The search is over. All questions are answered. All yearning is fulfilled.
In that moment it’s like dying and being born at the same time.
In that moment, when you come face to Face, heart to Heart, spirit to Spirit with Jesus, you can never again wonder if he lives. You can no longer go your own way, placidly thinking, “If only I could be sure that this Jesus fellow was real, then I might take it all a bit more seriously.” No, now the old reasonings are gone. They are dissolved in an instant.
You are in the presence of Light and Life.
You are sustained with Water and Bread.
You are no longer a lost soul, a rolling stone, a restless wanderer. Now you are a living, growing thing, attached to a Vine. The Vine is throbbing with life, pulsing with it, surging – and you know now that your own life and growth have just begun. “Jesus – Jesus, you’re alive! And now, at last, I live, too!”
“Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.”
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life.’”
“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.’”
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world.’”
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
“I am the vine, you are the branches.”
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’”