Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”
51 Most assuredly [amen, amen],
Once again Jesus uttered a double amen. This was preparatory for an important announcement.
I say to you,
Jesus’ enemies head toward the Father’s judgment, yet those who believe Him will receive everlasting life. This is an unconditional promise from Jesus.
if anyone keeps [observes] My word
The idea of keeping Jesus’ “word” is to go positive to His promises. It is to accept His word by faith and guard its truth. People who claim His promises apply them to their lives. They hold Him to His word.
he shall never see death.”
Instead of dishonoring Jesus like the religious leaders, those who believe Him will never see death. “Never see death” is a promise of eternal life. This person will never be separated from God. He will never experience spiritual death. Those who reject Christ will suffer eternal or spiritual death.
The believer who holds Jesus to His promise will never see death.
For the believer, dissolution of the body is not spiritual death. Scripture views physical and spiritual death as fundamentally different. Physical death is separation of the body from the soul. Spiritual death is separation of the non-believer eternally from God. But for a Christian, eternal life continues immediately after death past the grave. To be absent from the body is to immediately and instantaneously go into the presence of the Lord (2 Co 5:8).
On a tombstone in an Indiana cemetery, we find this statement,
Pause, stranger, when you pass me by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you will be,
So prepare for death and follow me.
Someone wrote a reply,
To follow you I’m not content,
Until I know which way you went.