When Dead Isn't Really Dead

Eventually I have to admit defeat. The shrunken, gray leaves, once green and soft, now crumble at my touch. There is no hope of revival now. As much as I hate to do it, the plant is dead, and needs to be thrown away.

I have no resurrection power. Dead is dead and there isn't anything I can do about it.

Martha thought dead was dead too—until Jesus came along to teach her better. Her brother was already several days in the grave when the Lord finally showed up. Martha wondered at the delay, rebuked the Lord for it, but dead was dead and there was nothing anyone could do.

We know how the story ends. With God, dead isn't really dead at all. I had to go hunting to try to figure out the apparent contradiction in these verses in John 11:25, 26 (NIV) when Jesus says: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." Okay, do we, or don't we, die?

The Amplified New Testament says it like this: "…Whoever believes in — adheres to, trusts in and relies on — Me, although he may die, yet he shall live. And whoever continues to live and believes — has faith in, cleaves to and relies on — Me shall never [actually] die at all."

I wonder if Jesus is talking "before and after" here. Unless the Lord returns first, we will all suffer physical death. But for the one who trusts in Christ that physical death is the last of that kind of experience. After that brief moment between time and eternity, there is only pure and unlimited life left to enjoy.

Whatever the details of the meaning here, this much is clear; for the believer real life goes on, and on, and on, and …

We haven't even begun to live yet.


  1. It's amazing to think that, as your last line says, we haven't really begun to live yet. Dead is NOT dead in His economy!


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