Jesus said to her, “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?”
Thoughts from Amanda Cook
Behind the Scenes
There is a lot going on in these two verses, but to fully understand it, we need to go back to the beginning of this chapter. Jesus had gone across the Jordan because the Jewish officials were all riled up and trying to kill Him. He had been healing so many people and performing so many miracles that people were calling Him the Messiah. He was at least a day’s journey away when he received news that Lazarus, “the one you love is sick” (vs. 3). So right here, I’m thinking we go into emergency mode – throw on the sandals, brush your teeth (because come on, nobody likes stinky breath), and beat feet. Like warp speed. My friend, the one I love, is sick and I can heal him. I’m OUT. But that’s not what happened…
“Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days.” John 11: 4-5. WHAT?!? He stayed two more days? Jesus let’s go, it’s already been at least a day since Lazarus fell ill (because the messenger had to get to Jesus), and it’s going to take another day for us to get to him. That’s FOUR days. We’re wasting time. LET’S GO!
As they finally get ready to leave, the disciples try to persuade Jesus to stay because the Jews are trying to kill Him. And by now we know that Lazarus has died because Jesus says plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.” Ouch, that seemed a little harsh but notice the “so that.” Hold that thought…
Fast forward to His arrival in Bethany. He meets up with Martha and has a conversation about Lazarus rising again. And Martha replies, “I know He will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” This is where our verses come in, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though He dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Keep that pin in the “so that” we’re getting there…
Make it Real
You probably know the rest of the story. Jesus has Martha take Him to Lazarus’s tomb, tells them to remove the stone (even though everyone kind of reeled at the thought of the smell – I mean it has been FOUR days), and calls for Lazarus to rise and come out. AND HE DOES!
Now, I don’t know about you, but I have never seen anyone physically raised from the dead. If you have I would love to hear the story. But remember our “so that?” Why did all of this take place? SO THAT we would believe. Believe that Jesus can raise people from the dead? YES!
I have seen those who have been spiritually dead in their sin, wandering in the desert, depressed, addicted, alone, suicidal – raised from the dead. When we die to our old self, our sin, our idols, and hand them all over to Jesus, we are spiritually reborn. We have a new heart of flesh and not stone. Our sins have been washed away and we are clean as a lamb – BY the lamb. We are a new creation. He gives us real people and real situations that He raises from the dead, so that, we would believe.
You see, that’s all it takes to have new life. To be raised from the dead – you just have to believe and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. So that…
End in Prayer
I am so in awe of You. You have taken this life of death and sin and resurrected me to life with a new heart as a new creation. Lord I pray that for all who are reading this today. Show them the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Bring very real examples in their lives so that…
In Jesus Name,