DSG | Discipleship Study Guide | Vineyard Boise

flat-lining, zombie hearts | John 5.25-29

Gospel of John headerTUESDAY
Reflection 57 of 240

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. John 5.25-29 | ESV

Believe me, believe me! The hour approaches – no, wait – the clock is sounding even now! Flat lining, zombie hearts are suddenly awakened by the voice of the Divine Son, and those who hear, sit up and live. The Father is bursting with life within, and he has placed that same inner, bursting, overflowing life right into the heart of his Son. So it’s life or death – and it’s all in the hands of the Son, because he is the Ultimate Human Being, and that’s where the Father wants this authority to rest.

So, will you stop freaking out over all this? Talk about those who are flat lining springing to life, the hour approaches when every cadaver who’s been laid out on the cold slab within any tomb will suddenly hear his voice, and out of the tomb they will emerge. Everyone will live, but some larger than others. It’s a bountiful resurrection of Life for those who have lived bountifully and benevolently; but for those who have followed foul and destructive paths the only resurrection they can anticipate is a resurrection to judgment that will make them wish they were back in the tomb, flat-lined. MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)

“So then, death is at work in us, but life in you.” It’s the fundamental kingdom rhythm: Life coming through death. As Jesus continues his faceoff with the religious judges in the Temple courts, another passage comes to mind contrasting the way of the judges and the way of Jesus:

Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn’t notice that the glory was fading away—and they didn’t notice. They didn’t notice it then and they don’t notice it now, don’t notice that there’s nothing left behind that veil. Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, they can’t see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that there’s nothing there. Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. (2 Corinthians 3:13-18 in the Message, of course.)

The Father is bursting with life, and it’s contagious. That’s the message of Jesus before these masters of religion.

Living Spirit rather than chiseled stone.

The great tragedy is that the religious spirit of slavery Jesus was facing down in that Temple courtyard can become such hardened, chiseled stone, that even Christ’s clarion call of resurrection only rolls them out of the tomb, unchanged stones, rolling over a precipice of judgment that refuses life.

How does Jesus’ discourse on the heart of the Father challenge or sharpen your concept of God?

Abba, let this Flatlined zombie heart stir to fresh, invigorating, unhindered life today. Through Christ.



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