And Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. If anyone believes in me, though he may die, he will live. If anyone lives and believes in me, he shall never die. Do you believe this?”
I love this verse. While there wouldn’t seem to be much more to say than that… c’mon… it’s me!
I suppose I could blame a couple different things for this post. Possibly the lack of sleep, maybe the lack of food, perchance because I’m reading the mystics again… or perhaps a brilliant combination of both. I was in the prayer room and I was struck by this verse… hard. First off, any time God describes himself and starts with the words “I am…” highlight whatever comes next. However, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Context being king in Bible study, it should be pointed out that the context of this verse is that Jesus is going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, but nobody else did. In verse 24, just after having told Jesus that if he had been there her brother would not have died, Martha answers a question posed by Jesus (which is an amazing thought to begin with) by saying “I believe that he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.” And Jesus answers back with the statement of verse 25.
“I am the resurrection…” This is an intense statement. With those four words (in english, anyway) Jesus reshapes the entire conversation He and Martha are in the middle of. Martha was talking about an event… Jesus is talking about a person. So what does it mean that Jesus IS the resurrection? Firstly, Paul tells the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15 that if Christ did not rise again, not only have those who have perished in His name passed away forever, but we are false witnesses, our faith is in vain, and we are still dead in our sins. Without Christ, there is no resurrection “on the last day” because all are condemned to Hell in their sinful ways. That is food for thought. Turnips for the soul, if you will.
“… and the life.” Jesus makes a similar statement in John 14 when He declares that He is “The way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” I think Jesus is making a point here. For instance, Proverbs states that Jesus was with the father as a master craftsman during creation. John also goes on to say that all things were made through Him and for Him, and without Him nothing was made. In the eternal community of single action (aka, the trinity), Jesus was an integral part of anything being created… alive or otherwise. Jesus can create life because He IS life.
“If anyone believes in me, though he may die, he will live. If anyone lives and believes in me, he shall never die.” Consider this… if you believe in Christ, even if you die you will live. If you live and believe in Him, you will not die. Obviously Christians do die in the mortal sense… so what is Jesus making referrence to? “Though you die, you will live” is the key phrase. By maintaining a belief in Jesus, it does not matter one iota what happens to your mortal frame, because you will live. When the Antichrist comes, he can have my head… I have a life on the inside of me that no man can touch. This is another shining example of “now, but not yet” that we are so fond of pontificating about in Kansas City.
“Do you believe this?” A straightforward question. Most people would expect a yes or no type answer. This is what we would call the million dollar question. I find people all the time that doubt that God exists at all, and then we find stories in magazines about people that call themselves Christians denying that Jesus physically rose from the dead. Jesus says that He IS the resurrection and declares that a belief in that fact is CENTRAL to the attainment of eternal life… and then simply asks if we believe it. How badly do we mistreat Him when we call ourselves according to His name, and then deny who and what He is? Do we believe that He IS the resurrection? Do we believe that He is our life?
The greatest mark of mankind’s en masse insanity is that we take the breath God gives to us as a gift, and then use it to deny his existence.
The single greatest cause of Atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable. –Toby MacKeehan