Spring Splendors

Spring Splendors

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sundays through the Seasons

What is eternal life?

I recently explored this topic in a paper for my Johannine Theology class (a class studying the theology presented in the books of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation). In Sunday School as children, and perhaps even in certain contexts as adults, we are taught that eternal life is that which will begin after we die and go to heaven.

When Jesus prayed for His disciples before being arrested and crucified, He said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). And at an earlier time He declared, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep" (John 10:10b-11).

At Easter we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus - that incredible, powerful reality that allows us to claim eternal life through faith.

So again, remembering and considering the Resurrection of Christ, what is the eternal life that God has offered us?

I think the movie Tuck Everlasting gives us a picture of what eternal life is not - as well as a beautiful hint at what eternal life is.


Tuck Everlasting is about a girl who meets the Tucks - a family who inadvertently found a spring that gave them immortal life when they drank from it. But while their way of life is unhurried and leisurely, and they don't have to worry about disease or death, they aren't exactly happy. Angus Tuck says at one point, "What we Tucks have you can't call livin'."

And it isn't living. The point of eternal life is not endless days. The point, as Jesus Himself declared, is a relationship with God:

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3).

Eternal life isn't endless, meaningless days without God. That is hell. "Eternal life" here on earth is not what we truly desire or need. True eternal life begins when we believe in God - and it continues on through eternity, beyond death.

The glimpse of this in Tuck Everlasting is found in the line, "Do not fear death. Fear the unlived life." It's a great reminder of the message of 1 Corinthians 15:54-57...

"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

So if you are saved through the grace of God, through faith in Jesus, may today's (and every) remembrance of the empty tomb thrill you with the knowledge of the eternal life with the Lord that you have already begun.

"Do not fear death. Fear the unlived life."

(Movie image from tribute.ca.)

12 comments:

Amanda Stanley said...

Happy Easter Amber!! :D

This devotional is absolutely beautiful! One of the BEST Easter devotionals I've ever read! I love all the scriptures you used (John 10:10 is one of my favorites). And, again, it's so cool how you see such inspirational messages in movies and life around you. Your very sensitive to the Spirit. Tuck Everlasting was a sweet movie and the quotes you used from it are great. Thank you for sharing your insights, your heart and you love for Jesus with us here :)

Have a blessed day, dear friend!!
Amanda

Elyssa said...

Happy Resurrection Sunday, Amber! Great post! This was a wonderful reminder that as Christians, we should not take for granted the amazing gift we have been given. I am truly blessed and encouraged by this reminder!
I hope you have a very wonderful Easter! He is risen! =D

God bless!
Elyssa

Christina B said...

Amen, and well said! Happy Easter, Amber! :)

Michelle said...

Hi Amber! I agree completely with what the other ladies have said! Thank you for this beautiful post.

Sweet Blessings,
Michelle

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Happpy (belated) Easter, dear friend!! :) Hope you had a wonderful day with your family!

Thank you so much for your encouragement! I think some of my phrasing in this post was heavily influenced by my professor's lecture/discussion on eternal life last Thursday - he had some great things to say on the topic! :) But I'm so glad you found the Tuck Everlasting quotes relevant and the comparison/discussion regarding the movie insightful. I watched the movie Saturday night and the theme of eternal life seemed like a good way to go with an Easter devotional post. :) Thank you again for your sweet words!

Also, I got your e-mail on Saturday, and I hope to respond soon! :D

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Elyssa,

As was brought up in the church I visited on Sunday, I'll echo your last phrase: "He is risen, indeed!" :) I'm so glad God used this post to bless and encourage you! This is something I really need to grasp and apply, as well - eternal life isn't an elusive concept, but a gift we have been given that should be a reality in our lives every day!

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and God bless you, as well! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Christina,

Thank you! Like I told Amanda, I was influenced in some of my wording by my Johannine Theology professor's lecture/discussion on Thursday. I'm so very blessed to have such great professors here at my school who encourage us to apply what we learn to our lives. :) And after watching Tuck Everlasting on Saturday night, it wasn't too hard to come up with the topic for this post! :)

Happy (belated) Easter to you, as well, and thank you for stopping by!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Michelle,

Thank you so much! :)

God bless!

~Amber

Kav said...

A very beautiful devotional, Amber. You are blessed with the ability to find God in ordinary places and we are blessed when you share those insights with us.

Amber S. said...

Kav,

That is really kind of you to say! I'm so blessed to know you through blogging. :) Thank you for visiting here and for sharing your passion for Christian fiction on your blog!

~Amber

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Funny you mention Tuck Everlasting. I saw this movie a few months ago and I reviewed it on my blog. You are right, it doesn't correctly portray the way everlasting life should be. I also downloaded the novel onto my Kindle. I started it, but didn't finish it.

Amber S. said...

Cecelia,

For some reason (maybe the link?) your comment ended up in my spam folder, and I found it today - so I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond! I really appreciate you taking the time to read this post and comment on it. :)

It sounds like (from your review) you enjoyed the movie and found it to be both sweet and thought-provoking - and I concur! :) I'm sorry you didn't find the book as engaging. I haven't read it, but I'd be curious to see how similar (or how different) it is to the movie.

Thanks again for stopping by!

~Amber