Frank Binford Hole
The Lord Jesus came that we might have abundant life (John 10:10). This is more than mere existence. We use the word “life” in two ways in ordinary conversation. You go, for instance, to visit a friend who is, you hear, far from well. In the hall a nurse in uniform meets you, and you are shocked to hear he is hanging between life and death. Just for a moment you are allowed to stand in the darkened room. There is the unconscious form of your friend. A medical man stands by the bedside feeling his pulse. “Doctor,” you anxiously inquire, “is there life?” “Yes.” “Is there any hope?” “Not much, but while there is life there is hope, you know”
Now let me stand by your side and, pointing to that scene, ask, “Is that LIFE?” What will you say? The word bears another sense now. If you went to the Royal Academy to see a picture by a foremost artist entitled “Life,” what would you expect to see? An invalid reclining upon a couch? No. You would expect to see portrayed youth, vitality, vigour, enjoyment. A ruddy boy in the full glow of health bounding gleefully along the golden summer sands would be nearer the mark. You would say “That is LIFE!”
“I came that they may have life and may have it abundantly” (R.V.). Such is our portion. Not invalid life. Not existence merely. Thank God we have spiritual existence, but we have more. Spiritual vitality, spiritual vigour, spiritual enjoyment—these things are ours in the risen Shepherd who once in His goodness laid down His life for the sheep.