I’m continuing my posts on John chapter 6. So far I’ve covered through verse 44. If you read through the rest of this chapter, you’ll find that Jesus continues talking about eternal life. He explains that you must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood to have eternal life.
I’m not going to go through the whole doctrine of the sufficiency of the body and blood of the Lord, given for us. That would take a year’s worth of posts! Suffice it to say that the Lord tried to tell them, “I’m the One who gives eternal life and I will raise you up (or literally wake you up) at the last day.”
Please take the time to understand this. Jesus’ audience refused to hear it. Even today many Christians have missed this simple truth.
He gives the disciples and us a term we must understand: “the last day.” The word day in this Scripture is a literal, 24-hour day. The word is singular. Jesus said that if you put your trust in Him, He would raise you up at the last day. What exactly is the last day?
I believe that Jesus built the disciples’ faith step by step. The disciples were taught by the Lord that there was a time period called this age. They also knew that the Lord intended to do some cleaning up of the world toward the end of this age, just before He called His people from their graves to receive their rewards. (Matthew 33:24-43) The only conclusion that makes any sense is that Jesus was talking about the last, literal, twenty-four hour day of this present age.
I think it’s amazing that some preachers and teachers who normally make it a rule to interpret the Bible literally, unless it’s impossible to do so, suddenly lose all concept of reality. Jesus said, “the last day.” There’s nothing in this context to indicate that He meant anything other than a normal 24 hour day. Yet, so many people have interpreted this last day from months to years long.
Throughout the Bible we find both of the terms last day and last days. I believe that the Holy Spirit knew which term was appropriate in each section of the Scripture. I also believe that Jesus meant what He said and said what He meant. I believe that He intends to raise His people – to resurrect them – on the last day of this present age.
Jesus’ teaching is very clear on these points if you dare to take Him at His word. As we approach the end of this age, God will somehow do a work that establishes a clear distinction between the “sons of the kingdom” and the “sons of the enemy.” This work will culminate on the last day of the age when “all those who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out – those who have done good will rise to live…” (John 5:28-29).
This is the great hope of the church.
Question: How does meditating on the return of Christ give you hope?