The eternal life of which Jesus speaks is not the continuation of this earthly life, but a new life in an eternal condition. Man has had a vague feeling about life after death since ancient times. In fact even pagan peoples buried their dead adorning them with amulets or valuables, so as to accompany them on the extreme journey. The cult of the dead, funeral rites and various religious doctrines prove that ancient man never saw death as an absolute annihilation, but he always believed that something in us continues to live after the end of the physical body. In the Old Testament there was a distinction between soul and spirit. In this regard we see this passage from Job 12, 10: He holds the soul of every living being and the breath of every human being.
Thus the biblical author distinguished between soul and spirit. Even the Greek philosophers identified the essence of the human being, his part immaterial .. the soul, but they did not give clear teachings so that it can be saved and live eternally in the Kingdom of God. Jesus instead gave the soul an absolute, immense value. Let us first see the corresponding verse in the Gospel of Mark 8:36: What good is it for man to gain the whole world, if he loses his soul?
Jesus taught how to make the soul not get lost, by accepting his sacrifice on the cross and following his commandments. Jesus also taught that the saved soul has eternal life. Let us first see this important passage from the Gospel of John 3, 14-16: And as Moses raised the serpent in the desert, so the Son of man must be lifted up so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life.
The eternal life of which Jesus speaks in these verses is not the continuation of this earthly life, but a new life in an eternal condition, in the presence of the Father in his eternal Kingdom. The gift that God gave us of his Son, who came to live and suffer among us and die for us, has immense value as it redeems our soul.