Monday, July 24, 2017

Resurrection and Life

“I am the Resurrection and the Life.” John 11:25
Last week we started a series on the seven I Am statements by Jesus.  The first four I Am statements are:
I am the Bread of Life.
I am the Light of the World.
I am the door for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd.
The fifth I am statement of Jesus is I am the resurrection and the life. 

The context in which Jesus was speaking when He made this statement was after His good friend Lazarus had died.  He was visiting Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, and Martha expressed her wishes that Jesus had arrived earlier so that He could have healed Lazarus.  Jesus tells her I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, although he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  Martha told Jesus that she did believe He was the Son of God and He had come to save the world. 
Just imagine – you might have been there before – when you have lost someone close to you and someone tells you that one day they will rise again.  She was probably thinking “well that makes me feel so much better!”  She did not understand that He was talking about the resurrection of her brother now.  She just assumed that He was talking about Lazarus rising at the second coming with all the other Christians who are sleep in Christ.  But Jesus meant something else.  He proved His power as the resurrection and the life by calling Lazarus out of his tomb.  To Jesus, Lazarus was just asleep, even having been dead four days. 
Earlier in the chapter, Mary and Martha had sent word to Jesus that their brother was very sick.  Jesus sent back to them these words: This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.  Jesus knew Lazarus was going to die.  He knew he was dead before anyone even sent word.  He told His disciples that Lazarus had fallen asleep and He was going to Judea to wake him up.  He also knew that many would believe after they saw Lazarus come out of the tomb at His beckoning.  Mary and Martha were beside themselves in grief, maybe forgetting what Jesus had said about his illness not leading to death, or maybe they just thought Jesus had gotten it all wrong.  Either way, this miracle, like all of Jesus’ miracles, was not lacking in compelling evidence that He was the Resurrection and the Life.
Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life and that means that He has all power over death.  Neither death nor time are problems for Him.  Martha’s response showed that, to her, the resurrection was an event in time.  But Jesus’ actions prove that He is the resurrection and eternal life is not based on an event, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Because Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, that means that death has no power over those who are His.  We are in Him and if He is life, we have life, forever.
Without Jesus, we cannot have resurrection or eternal life.  He is not just the author and giver of life, He is life.  The eternal life He gives us does not start when we die, it starts the minute you accept Him as your savior. 
Scripture to Claim:
And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  1 John 5:11-12

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