Summary: I Am Series, part 3 I Am The Resurrection and the Life
I Am Series, part 3
I Am The Resurrection and the Life
We are in the last of a three week series, entitled I AM, where we have been looking at three of the I am statements made by Jesus in the gospel of John. We started with “I Am the Good Shepherd,” then we looked at “I am the Bread of Life,” and today we finish with “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” Next week we start a new series, the Gospel according to Hosea.
I want to start today by describing why John wrote his gospel. He writes, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John wants us to see that God displayed his love by sending Jesus to pay for our sin and whoever believes or banks his hope on Christ will have eternal life. All of us have or will question God's love at some point in our lives. It usually comes when life is difficult or painful. Today's' passage tells the story of people who question Jesus'.
1. The Resurrection Demonstrates God's Love For Us (vs. 20-21)
So Martha comes to Jesus saying, 'If you had been here, my brother would not have died.' She is questioning Jesus' love because he did not intervene and heal her brother. She interprets Jesus letting Lazarus die as a lack of love. Yet we are told that he loved Martha and Lazarus earlier in the passage. So in my mind God's/Jesus' love is displayed much deeper or differently than by sparing us suffering and death. God demonstrates his love more by giving us himself and all that he promises to be for us in Jesus. Again, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” God’s love is the gift of eternal life at the cost of his Son. What is the essence of eternal life? Jesus himself tells us, “this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
So when Martha comes to him in her grief and doubt, Jesus points her to himself, the one who loves her more than she could imagine and will demonstrate that by going to the cross for her and then rise again from the dead. The cross is the greatest demonstration of God's love for humanity. When you doubt it, look to the cross. Whatever issue you are facing today, your greatest need is Jesus and his death on the cross. I say this because the greatest human need that must be dealt with is our sin and Jesus came to effectively deal with sin. Martha's grief points to the deeper predicament of sin. Lazarus died, we all will die, because of sin. Death is a daily reminder that there is something terribly wrong with the world, sin. It is why we there are wars, political corruption, and economic issues. It is also why there are marital problems, children roll their eyes at parents, and we are addicted to everything from i Phones to heroin. It is because the human heart is sinful, including yours and mine. Yet Christ's death and resurrection is the remedy for our sin because it brings the hope of eternal life.
2. The Resurrection Life is Eternal Life (vs. 25-26)
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?" Martha is grieving over the death of her brother and Jesus' answer is to preach a mini sermon about himself. Let me be specific, Martha. I am exactly what Lazarus needs and what you need. He is dead and you are alive. So listen to me, “whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” That’s for Lazarus. Thought he dies physically yet he lives spiritually. And “Everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” That’s for you Martha. You have no fear of physical death because you will never die spiritually. I will rescue Lazarus form the grace, body and soul, and when I do it doesn't matter. And you, you live, and believe in me, and so you will never die—there will never be one millisecond when you are out of saving fellowship with me. Remember 'this is eternal life, that you know the only true God, and Jesus Christ. And this means I love you. And I love your brother. I will not abandon his soul to the grave or let his flesh be destroyed. I will raise him. And I will keep you in everlasting fellowship with me. I am revealing my power and my glory to you, because I love you.