Bible Reading: John 11:17-25
Here is the fifth of the I AM statements of Jesus that were recorded by John.
When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick He deliberately did not come to the house of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, but stayed where He was for two more days. He already knew that God had a different agenda in the death of Lazarus than Martha or Mary could understand. On hearing that Lazarus was sick Jesus said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” [John 11:4]. How often it is that we see things from an earthly perspective, but God has a different agenda. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts not our thoughts.
Jesus knew that Lazarus was dead even before Martha came to Him, and He was about to perform another sign in order to help them believe [John 11:15].
When Jesus did finally reach Bethany, Lazarus was already dead and been in the tomb for four days. Four days might have been significant, because there was a common Jewish belief that when a person died his soul hovered over his body for three days hoping to re-enter it, but then gave up and departed. Here there was no doubt that Lazarus was dead and beyond resuscitation.
Martha said that she knew that Lazarus would rise again at the last day, and in response to that Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, shall yet live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Martha responds with a declaration of her belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Here was yet another testimony in John’s Gospel about the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus doesn’t just resurrect people from the dead – He IS the resurrection! There is no resurrection to eternal life apart from a relationship with Him. It is literally “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” The Greek preposition “in” as in “believes in me” is the word ‘eis’ normally translated as “into”. Faith in Christ brings us into Him and into resurrection life now, so that even though we die, yet shall we live!
Paul wrote, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” [Romans 6:4-5 NKJV]. Today, we have in Christ His resurrection life, and when our body dies our life in Him continues.
Will you take time today to thank God for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that in His resurrection we receive His life?
Why do you think that we are so prone to see things from an earthly perspective but not from God’s perspective? What can we do to change our perspective and see things from God’s point of view?