Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 131, 1897

“I Am the Resurrection and the Life.”



Portions of this manuscript are published in 5BC 1113.

When the voice of the angel was heard saying, “Thy Father calls thee,” He who had said, “I lay down my life that I may take it again,” “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again,” came forth from the grave to life that was in Himself. [John 10:17; 2:19.] Deity did not die. Humanity died, but Christ now proclaims over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] In His divinity Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death. He declares that He had life in Himself to quicken whom He will. 12LtMs, Ms 131, 1897, par. 1

“I am the resurrection, and the life.” [Verse 25.] This language can be used only by the Deity. All created things live by the will and power of God. They are dependent recipients of the life of the Son of God. However able and talented, however large their capabilities, they are replenished with life from the Source of all life. Only He who alone hath immortality, dwelling in light and life, could say, “I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again.” [John 10:18.] All the human beings in our world take their life from Him. He is the spring, the fountain of life. 12LtMs, Ms 131, 1897, par. 2

Lifting Himself up in His supreme dignity, Christ declared, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] His words were distinctly heard by the Roman guard. The whole army of Satan heard them, and we understand them when we hear. Christ had come to give His life a ransom for many. As the Good Shepherd He proposed to lay down His life for the sheep. Death was the punishment of the transgressor of His law. It was the righteousness of God to maintain His law by inflicting the penalty. This was the only way by which the law could be maintained, and pronounced holy, just, and good, by which sin could appear exceeding sinful and the honor and majesty of Divine Authority be maintained. 12LtMs, Ms 131, 1897, par. 3

The law of God’s government was to be magnified by the death of God’s only begotten Son. Christ bore the guilt of the sins of the world. Our sufficiency is found only in the death and incarnation of the Son of God. By voluntarily divesting Himself of His glory, assuming human nature that could suffer and be looked upon by the whole of the heavenly universe, He could suffer, sustained by divinity. He could endure, because He was without one taint of disloyalty or sin. Christ triumphed in man’s behalf in thus bearing the justice of the punishment. He secured eternal life to men while He exalted the law and made it honorable. 12LtMs, Ms 131, 1897, par. 4

Christ was invested with the right to give immortality. The life which He had laid down in humanity He now takes up again, and gives to humanity. “I am come,” He said, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” [John 10:10.] “Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” [John 6:54.] “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.” [John 4:14.] 12LtMs, Ms 131, 1897, par. 5

All who are one with Christ through faith in Him, by the agency of His Holy Spirit, He carries through the science of that experience, which is life unto eternal life. “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” “He dwelleth in me, and I in him.” “I will raise him up at the last day.” [John 6:57, 56, 54.] “Because I live, ye shall live also.” [John 14:19.] 12LtMs, Ms 131, 1897, par. 6

Christ became one in flesh with humanity, that humanity might become one in spirit and life with Him. By virtue of this union in obedience to the Word of Christ, His life in raising them from the dead becomes their life. He says to the penitent, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] He says to the impenitent, “I am the resurrection.” 12LtMs, Ms 131, 1897, par. 7

Death is a small matter to the believer in God. Christ speaks of it as though it were of little moment. “Whosoever believeth in me,” He says, “shall never die.” [Verse 26.] “If a man keep my sayings, he shall never taste of death. Neither shall he see death.” [John 8:51, 52.] Death is looked upon by Christ as sleep—silence, darkness, sleep. To the believing one, to die is to sleep. “All that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” [1 Thessalonians 4:14.] Who can take hold of this great truth? Our life is hid with Christ in God. 12LtMs, Ms 131, 1897, par. 8

The victory of the sleeping saints will be glorious on the morning of the resurrection. Satan’s triumph will end, while Christ will triumph with glory and honor. The Lifegiver will crown with immortality all who come forth from the grave. 12LtMs, Ms 131, 1897, par. 9