Someone posted this awesome article on Facebook this week, which I encourage you to click on and read here. But I want to summarize for you the points he made that really hit home with me.
See, we tend to think of death (and conversely, life) in a time perspective. We are living now; someday, death will happen to us; and then, if we're saved, we get "eternal life."
Only that's not quite right. I love the way this writer, J.D. Walt, puts it:
You see, death is not something that happens to us when we die. It’s something we carry around in our bodies that finally takes us down. Death is the disease we are born with and the one that will eventually kill us.
Did you get that? We carry around death all the time. We are "in death" right now. It's not that we are going to die someday -- it's that we are in the process of dying from the moment we were born.
More than that, it's not even that we will physically die at some future point in time -- again, it's not a time thing. It's that we are not really "living" now.
Again, I love what Walt says about eternal life:
Eternal Life is not that portion of life that begins after we die. No, Eternal Life is the Person of Jesus Christ. Eternal Life means the restoration of human beings to God’s original intentions—i.e. like Jesus Christ. Eternal Life is a qualitative change, one dimension of which is the end of thinking about time as a quantitative reality. Eternal Life is the infusion of the very life of God into a human person. It has a durable nature of an unending quality.
Eternal life is not about quantity of years; it's something qualitatively different from what we have now. It's something akin to what Adam and Eve had before the fall. It's what Jesus had after his resurrection. And it's not something we have to wait for until after we die. It's something Christ will start creating in us right now.
This is deep stuff. This is stuff that will roll around in my brain for months as it meshes with the other info in my brain and scripture I read and teaching I hear and life I live. When stuff like this jumps out at me, I get really excited to see what difference it's going to make in my life this time next year -- when I really understand it.