That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.1 John 1:1-2 NIV
What is eternal life? Our first thought generally involves some idea of duration. It is a life that never ends. And that is true.
We might also envision eternal life as living forever in the presence of God, maybe in heaven, or maybe on a renewed earth. And that is true as well.
But eternal life is more than that. In John 17:3, Jesus said that eternal life was knowing he and the Father. Eternal life is being in a living relationship with our redeemer and creator.
But eternal life is even more than that. As John opened this letter, he proclaimed Jesus as the eternal life. Eternal life is not just a matter of duration or quality. It is a person. Jesus is eternal life. And all who believe in him will share in the life that he is. We have eternal life when we are in Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the (eternal) life (John 14:6).
When Jesus rose and walked out of the tomb on that first Easter, it was more than just him returning to life. It was eternal life, defeating death, our greatest enemy, and inviting us to participate in his victorious eternal life. Hallelujah!