Summary: Jesus is the source of resurrection life.
Jesus had received word about the illness of his friend, Lazarus. Upon receiving the news, Jesus tarried two days before journeying to Bethany, Lazarus’ home. Upon arriving there, He was told that Lazarus had died. All of this was in God’s plan, of course, for it was the Father’s will that Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead.
What we want to draw our attention to, however, is the conversation Jesus had with Martha, Lazarus’ sister, upon His arrival at Bethany. When Martha spoke to Jesus, she expressed a reproach and a statement of faith. She first, reproached the Lord for not arriving sooner (v. 21). Yet, within the same breath, she makes a statement of faith (v. 22).
Jesus responded to Martha’s faith, as impure as it might have been and reassured her that His purpose would be worked out in this tragedy (v. 23). Martha responded with yet another word of faith and conviction (v. 24), to which Jesus boldly declared that He was the source of resurrection life.
Jesus said that when one believed in Him, he would receive resurrection life. Let’s notice two things Jesus tells us about this resurrection life one receives through faith in Him.
1. Resurrection life is an ultimate certainty - v. 25
One of the teachings that is peculiar to Christianity is the hope of the resurrection. All other religious thought considers eternity in terms of individuals living as disembodied spirits for eternity. But the Bible insists that those who die having trusted in Jesus will receive resurrection bodies. The Christian looks forward not just to eternity in the presence of God, but to the day of the resurrection.
Why is the promise of the resurrection body so important? It is important because of the kind of savior Jesus is.
“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” - Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)
Man was made with a body - the source of his world-consciousness; he was made with a soul, comprised of his mind, his will, and his emotions - the source of his self-consciousness; and man was made with a spirit - the source of his God-consciousness.
Man was created spiritually alive - he communed God (Genesis 3:8). Man was influenced by God’s Spirit through His Word and thought, felt, chose, and acted as he should.
Until the day in which man exercised his freedom of choice to decide to reject God’s direction and chose to know for himself what was good and what was evil (Genesis 2:17). In making that choice, man died spiritually, for he no longer communed with God, the source of all life.
No longer could he think, feel, choose or act as he ought. Now, man is influenced by Satan through the world (Ephesians 2:1-2). The consequences were that man was under condemnation of sin and death.
But Jesus came to reverse all that was undone through Adam. He provided for this through His death and resurrection.
I will be saved ultimately in my body on the day of the resurrection - on that day, we will begin the work with our Lord of making all things new, and then there will be a new heaven and a new earth, where I will saved from the very presence of sin (1 Peter 3:13).
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). When a believer dies, his spiritual essence - his spirit, his soul - enter immediately into the presence of our Lord. But the glory of our redemption will not be complete until the day I received my resurrection body when Jesus returns to usher in eternity.
On the day Christ returns, God will raise us up to live forever as resurrected beings in a society of resurrected beings, on a resurrected earth, with our resurrected Lord. And what a life it promises to be! Life will become more rich and fulfilling and UNIMPAIRED in the world to come than its ever been.
“We will not be disembodied spirits in the world to come, but redeemed spirits, in redeemed bodies, in a redeemed universe.” - R. A. Torrey