Summary: This follows "I am the Life' and looks at the resurrection of Jesus and why it matters.
I Am the Resurrection
Where is he? Where? Where is he? How many times had she asked that question over the past four days. Her only brother had come down with some mysterious virus and nobody could do anything for him. Well nobody except for their friend Jesus. How many times had he reached out his hand and the blind had seen, or the lame had walked. If there was any hope for Lazarus it would only be through Jesus. Granted she hadn’t actually asked Jesus to come, she had only sent word that His friend was deathly ill. If Jesus was the friend that he professed to be wouldn’t he have come. But she had waited and Lazarus got worse, and she waited and Lazarus died, and she waited and Lazarus had been buried. Jesus had healed the paralytic and he didn’t even know him, he healed the blind man who was just a face in the crowd, surely he would come for his friend. And still the thought tormented her: where was he? Surely she couldn’t have misjudged Jesus so badly. He had eaten at their table and slept under their roof surely that had meant something to him, or maybe not.
And then a murmur began to weave its way through the crowd that had gathered to mourn with the two sisters, “The master is here, Jesus has arrived.” And Martha couldn’t help herself, she was on her feet rushing to meet her friend. The thought that had burned in her heart was already on her lips, John 11:21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.
I don’t think it was said with a mean or vindictive spirit, but I don’t think it was simply a statement of fact either. I think she was disappointed in Jesus and felt betrayed and I’m sure the question even though unasked could be read in her eyes, “When you heard he was sick, why didn’t you come then?”
Max Lucado says that “The grave unearths our view of God” And he’s right how often have we heard “God if you existed my child wouldn’t have died, if you’d have answered my prayers my life wouldn’t be empty, if you cared my mother wouldn’t have developed cancer.”?
How often are we guilty of dealing with God in that very same way as Martha. Demanding to know why he doesn’t do it the way we want it done, when we want it done? The experts tell us that it would have been a two day walk from where Jesus heard the news to Bethany, and you all know how an expert is defined? X being the unknown quantity, spurt being a drip under pressure. So if we take the experts’ word for the distance and add to it the two days that Jesus waited before he left we come up with a grand total of four days, the exact number of days that Lazarus had been in the grave. So it really wouldn’t have made a difference even if Jesus had headed out as soon as he heard the news, he still would have been two days late.
And then as Jesus looked into the grief filled eyes of Martha we read John 11:23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Well Martha had no doubt about what Jesus was talking about, she knew that he was just doing the funeral home pleasantries, you know “Well they are in a better place” “their suffering is over” And she responded and said John 11:24 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”
You see, even though Martha was a woman of faith and she had no doubt that God could handle the future she wasn’t all that sure that he could handle the present. She trusted God with tomorrow but she didn’t know how she was going to get through today with her grief and sorrow. She knew in her heart of hearts that she would see her brother in the next life, but she missed him in this life.
And Jesus looked at her again and said John 11:25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” If you don’t know the rest of the story Martha takes Jesus to meet her other sibling Mary, and Jesus asks them to take him to their brother’s grave. And it is in this part of the story that we discover the shortest verse in the bible, John 11:35 Then Jesus wept. If you every wanted to know how Jesus feels about the death of your loved one, the death of your spouse, or your parent or your child it is summed up in these three words, Then Jesus wept.