Jesus said to her,
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”
John 11: 25
In chapter 11 of the Book of John, a seemingly sad story unfolds. Martha and Mary’s beloved brother Lazarus had died. They sent for Jesus to come. After waiting two days, Jesus began the two day journey to Bethany. He arrives to the tomb where Lazarus had already been placed. Many Jews had come to console Mary and Martha at the death of their loved one. While Mary remained in the home, Martha headed out to met Jesus near the tomb. She states in John 11:21: “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Martha knew Jesus. She knew His power. She knew His presence.
Jesus tells her “Your brother will rise again.” In her faith, she replied, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Certainly, her perspective of life and death was evident in her response. She was focused on eternity.
Jesus responds, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me though he die, yet shall he live. And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”
Martha replied to Jesus “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
The phone rang. I picked it up to the muffled sound of sobs. My best friend was on the other end. Her older brother, who had so much life to live, had died unexpectedly. Being a sophomore in high school, I had NO idea how to respond. I said what all good Christian girls would say “I will pray for you and I am sorry.” His funeral was one of the saddest services I have ever sat through.
I went over to her home about a week after the burial. Her house was sickeningly quiet and despairingly sober. She showed me the Bible given to her family from her church with her brother’s name inscribed on it. It was still entombed in heavy plastic.
My friend was never the same. She had no hope in eternity – no hope for her brother. I tried to tell her the story of Jesus many times before. But unlike Martha, my friend didn’t know Jesus. She didn’t know His power. She didn’t know His presence.
So now, Jesus stood just outside of the tomb. He called, “Lazarus, come forth!” The dead man came out! (John 11:43.) Not only did Jesus claim to be the resurrection and the life, but He actually demonstrated it by raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus had the power to change this sad day into a joyful one as He brought Lazarus back to life. His presence was evident in the lives of Martha, Mary and Lazarus.
Life for the believer doesn’t end at death. Life for the believer in Jesus Christ continues on into eternity in Heaven. Death has no ultimate control or hold over Him. If we believe in Jesus Christ, death will have no ultimate control over us. We, too, will experience resurrection and live for eternity in fellowship with God.
Do you know Jesus as the Resurrection and Life? Do you have confidence and hope in Jesus for eternity? Think of one way that you will apply this amazing truth in your life today. Perhaps it is to spend time praising Jesus with a hymn or song, praying for an unbelieving friend or loved one, telling someone the Easter story or telling them your own personal story from death to life in Jesus Christ.