1 Samuel 26:1-28:25; John 11:1-53; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 15:22-23
I am the Resurrection and the Life
The stage is set for a climactic revelation of Jesus’ glory through the resurrection of a dead man. The disciples are very much aware that a return trip to Judea could result in Jesus’ persecution and death by stoning. Jesus persists in His determination to return to Bethany in Judea because “Lazarus has died.” Jesus hints at some great sign He will perform “that you may believe.” Thomas has his doubts as he girds up to go and die with Lazarus (and Jesus).
The miraculous raising of Lazarus from being dead three days becomes not only a demonstration of Jesus’ divinity but also of His humanity. “Jesus wept” (11:35), is both the shortest verse in the Bible and perhaps the most profoundly compassionate. When He sees Martha and Mary, and Lazarus’ friends and family all weeping, Jesus is described as being “deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.” Not only is Jesus acquainted with human sorrows and grief, He shares in them.
Jesus also is the one who can reverse human suffering and sorrow. One day, He promises to wipe away every tear from our eyes. In a display of the “glory of God” (11:40), Jesus calls a three-day-dead Lazarus to “come out!” (11:43)
Here, Jesus utters the fifth of His seven great “I am” statements.
Jesus said to Martha, “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. Do you believe this?” (11:25-26)
Jesus is God in the flesh; He is the great “I am.” Jesus wept.
He holds the power of life and death in His sovereign hands. He is the bread of life, the only one who deeply satisfies our hungers. He is the light of life who disperses falsehood and darkness. He is the source of living water who heals our hurts and quenches our deepest thirsts. He is the only gate which leads to eternal life. For, He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep.
Do you believe this?
Martha’s response was, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
What is your response? Do you believe this? Today in prayer, offer your “Yes Lord; I believe” to the Lord and Savior of the World.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, where else would we go? You have the words of eternal life. Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.
The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Church of St. John the Divine