We’ve been looking at the names of God and how his names help us understand him better. This week I want to look at the name, ‘The Author of Life’.
When the Apostle Peter is preaching to the Jews in Jerusalem he says: ‘The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this’ (Acts 3:13-15).
Along with other names, Peter calls the Son of God the ‘Author of Life’. But what does that mean?
The word translated ‘Author’ in the NIV can also be translated as ‘Leader’, Ruler’ or ‘Prince’ (as in the NAS and KJV). Or it can also mean ‘Source’ or ‘Founder’ or ‘Originator’ (as in the NET).
The word translated ‘life’ can refer to physical life or also heavenly eternal life.
So what does it mean that Jesus is the ‘Author of Life’.
Firstly, the title tells us that God is the one who created all life in this world. He authored life in this world as an author writes characters into being in a novel.
Secondly, the title tells us that God is the one who creates life that goes on within the heavenly realms and grants eternal life to humans in paradise.
Thirdly, the title tells us that he not only creates life in this world, he reigns over life in this world. He has not abandoned the life in this world. No, he is the Prince of Life as we know it.
Fourthly, the title tells us that Jesus not only reigns over earthly life but also heavenly life.
Fifthly, the title tells us that Jesus is the leader of life eternal by being the firstborn from the dead. The Apostle Paul says: ‘He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy’ (Colossians 1:15-18). Jesus is the first to receive a glorious resurrection body that lives eternally. He has led the way for all his people to follow into eternal life.
Now, bearing all those meanings in mind, recognise the foolishness of what the Jews tried to do to Jesus. Peter said that they tried to kill the ‘Author of Life’. They tried to kill the one who creates physical life and eternal life. They tried to kill the one who reigns over earthly life and heavenly life. And their foolishness was demonstrated by the fact of the resurrection of Christ. The Jews should have realised with the Apostle Paul: ‘it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him’ (Acts 2:24).
But sadly, many today still would rather do away with the Author of Life. Are you so foolish as to murder the Author of Life in your heart? Joel Radford