A word ought to be spoken upon that title of Christ: “the Word of Life.”  John, more than any of his fellow apostles, delighted in applying the title “the Word” to Christ.  He is the divine Logos, the complete expression of the will and the love of the Father.  There can be little doubt that in calling Christ “the Word” John would hearken back to those innumerable instances in the Old Testament where we read such lines as, “The word of the Lord came to Him.”  I do not think it at all far-fetched to assume that such cases are an indication that it was the Son of God, the essential Word, who dealt with the prophets and saints of old.  The Jewish writers often transposed over Old Testament references to God the title “the Word of the Lord.”  John took a title very familiar to them, and applied it to Christ, that there should be no mistake that “the Word” of Whom He spoke is both God and man, as well as being the true Messiah.  

Here, he calls Christ “the Word of life.”  The language is much akin to that used in the first chapter of his gospel, where he said of the Word, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men; and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.”  Christ is “the Word of life” because He is the One Who brings life to men.  Apart from Him, eternal life is entirely unobtainable.  Apart from Him, those who came into this world enemies of God, dead in trespasses and sins, will remain in that lamentable state.  He is the Author and Dispenser of eternal life.  He has life in Himself, being of the nature of God, and being commissioned to that end by the Father for His saving work.  Thus, He could say of His sheep, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”  He is the Author both of physical life, being the Creator, and also of spiritual life.  He it is Who sends the Spirit of God to create life in a man’s soul, where before there was naught but death and stinking corruption.