26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
26 And whoever lives
Jesus added the word “lives” here to show that He offers eternal life to living human beings. “Lives” then refers to living in time on earth before a person’s death. It refers to living with eternal life already begun in the soul after a person places his faith in Christ.
and believes in Me
This person has already come to the point of belief in Jesus but is here characterized as a believer (present participle).
shall never [never, never] die.
The dead who believed in Jesus will rise, and the living who believe in Him will never, never die spiritually. Eternal life begins here and now. Those who believe in Him already have eternal life.
Physical death fails to snuff out eternal life for the believer. Death is a “gain” because he or she will enter the fullest life possible (Php 1:21). Death is a gateway to eternal life. It cannot quench eternal life that began at the point of believing in Jesus.
Genuine believers will “never, never die.” This is a double negative in the Greek, making it very emphatic. Death for the believer has no eternal significance. He already possesses the eternal life to come. The believer will never be separated from the Lord in body or soul. There will never be a death to the body or soul again.
The phrase “shall never die” is a litotes; that is, a believer will certainly live forever, clearly forever. This is climactic parallelism; the second “never” confirms and makes stronger the first. The idea of this litotes is that the believer shall live forever, forever. Eternal life will never come to an end.
That this would happen to Lazarus while he lived on earth is astounding. This miracle is also an example of what will happen to all believers at the point of belief (Ro 8:10; 2 Co 4:16).
Jesus transformed the status quo doctrine of resurrection; He is the author of indestructible life.
Death never has the final word with the Son of God.
An unbeliever thinks that death ends all. It is a bleak, black, dank terminus of all existence. That is why he views death as the grim reaper.
The life that Jesus provides is eternal, not temporal. When a person becomes a believer, he or she will never die spiritually but receives eternal life. Believers will never experience spiritual death.
Whoever has eternal life and believes in Jesus will never die spiritually. Eternal life is the gift God gives at the point of salvation. “Believes” is the stance a person takes about what God provides.
The person who is already a believer and enjoys resurrection life before death will never ever die. There is no way he can lose his salvation. Jesus gives a life that never ends. It is eternal life, not temporal life until one sins.