The life appeared; we have seen it … (NIV)
This life came to earth. We saw him … (Worldwide English)
What a great, great passage for Easter season. The Life appeared, was manifested, came to earth. The Greek word used for life here, “zoe,” in the Bible is used often to refer to eternal life, or spiritual life. The Greek word “phaneroo” used for appear has a subtle meaning of something hidden that is revealed.
The spiritual life that was hidden from us was suddenly revealed!
The soul-connection with God we were intended to have, which was hidden from our eyes by the sin of Adam and Even who sundered humanity from union with God, was restored in our sight!
The body of Christ that was life-less and broken for us was hidden away in a tomb and then on Easter Sunday revealed! Appeared! Manifested!
Remember that Adam and Eve hid from God after they ate the Forbidden Fruit. They didn’t want to be seen, and I think in trying to keep themselves from being seen, they also lost sight of something — the face-to-face fellowship with God they once enjoyed.
That privilege was hidden away, just as they hid themselves away. They couldn’t see God anymore, and they didn’t want Him to see them.
So, what was it, exactly, this spiritual life which was hidden from us by sin, taken from us when our First Parents chose to desert God’s way and follow their own? It was, I believe, the life of complete union with our heavenly Father.
His is, Himself, love. When He created our world, for love of us, He walked daily in the Garden with Adam, communed with him as a friend. This, I think, was the spiritual life that was intended for us, and which we lost sight of.
And now, in Christ, it appears again, revealed, manifested. “We have seen it,” John testifies. “We saw Him,” the Worldwide English version says.
The Life of Eden is manifested in Christ, for us to see … blessed sweet communion resurrected, because now we can see God face to face again.