I Am the Resurrection and the Life
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
While Jesus is back across the Jordan river he receives a message that his good friend Lazarus is on his death bed. Lazarus would in fact die and may have already been so by the time Jesus receives word of his illness. Lazarus along with his two sisters were close to Jesus. They reside in Bethany, a small village just a short distance from Jerusalem. We are not given the reason why, but Jesus delays two days before making the trek to Bethany. We have already been told that Jesus does and says what God the father tells him to do and say. (see John 5:1-20) For whatever reason, the correct time (God’s time) to go to Lazarus was two days after Jesus received the message. We do know from verses 8-10 of John 11 there was some danger involved in heading back around Jerusalem. John omits any details of the journey from the wilderness, the next scene we see is Jesus arriving in Bethany. We learn that Lazarus has been in the tomb for four days. The first statement both of Lazarus‘ sisters make is that if only Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died. Jesus tells Martha that He is THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE.
The Statement and the Question
Jesus tells Martha that those who believe in him will go on living even if they die. There may be many who have an answer for a successful life here on earth. Jesus is the only one who gives us hope beyond the grave. Don’t get me wrong, following Jesus is not just about hope after this physical life, but it certainly includes hope of life after death. Jesus’ question to Martha is also our question. I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to answer as Martha did: “She replied, “Yes Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son, the one who is coming into the world.” I want to answer yes not just with my lips, but with my life. If we are to take Jesus at his word here, then we must take him at his word with all his statements. True hope to live life abundantly is the hope that life goes beyond the 70 or 80 years of physical life we are granted on this earth. We endure through the hard times and exult in the joyful times knowing that the story continues. I do not want to spiritualize Jesus’ words, but there is a real sense in which we are empowered in the present by his words of future hope. We do not attempt to earn this great gift through meritorious works here on earth. We gratefully accept the gift through grace and get on with living life abundantly for and through the One who makes it possible. We really only have one question we must answer to do so:
DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?
More good news in the I Am Series…
Thanks for visiting www.martyhale.org!