Since Jesus predicted His death on a Cross, and His resurrection from the dead three days later, and since that really happened(!), I think that it would be wise to consider the other words Jesus said!
Here’s an important one—The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
It’s a pretty clear distinction: One way brings death and the other way brings life. But not just any kind of life.
The Greeks had three words for “life”—
- Bios from which we get our word biology. We can see when something is alive because of its biological growth.
- Psuche from which we get our word psychology. Plants might be biologically alive, but they don’t have the psychological life of a human.
- Zoe. This is the word Jesus used in John 10:10. It’s the word that means “life force” or better stated it’s God’s life.
God is a Triune God: Father, Son, and Spirit. When God created humans, we were created in His “trinity” image—Let Us make man in Our image (Genesis 1:26). Adam was created with bios, psuche, and zoe life. God told Adam and Eve that if they sinned, they would die (Genesis 2:17). When they did eat that forbidden fruit, they remained biologically and psychologically alive, but the zoe life force was cut off.
Jesus came to restore that! He came to bring us back to the state God originally intended for us, which meant He had to go to the Cross to become our sin, so that we could be forgiven and brought back to life.
Placing your faith in Jesus Christ’s work on the Cross means a complete about-face. The devil wants to steal from you, kill you, and destroy your soul for eternity. But Jesus came that you could have zoe in a way that was above-and-beyond, super-abundant, extraordinary and uncommon!
To get this life, Jesus asks us to do something that He did—If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me (Matthew 16:24).
Jesus isn’t calling for our hands and feet to be nailed to a wooden Cross. But He is calling for our selfish thoughts to be crucified (Matthew 16:23), and for us to give no more attention to our old sinful life.
I think this passage in Romans captures that thought so well—
Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the Cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in His life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, He took sin down with Him, but alive He brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did. That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God. (Romans 6:6-14)
The choice is yours: the rip-off, destruction, and death the devil offers OR the abundant, overflowing, extraordinary, more-than-is-needed, zoe life that Jesus offers.
Life or death. Your choice.