Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: In showing forth the implications of the Resurrection, in John 11:25-27, Jesus explains the 1) Reason (John 11:25) the 2) Reality (John 11:26) calls for a 3) Response (John 11:27) to the fact that He is the Resurrection and the Life.

One of the most unsettling aspects of death is that people have no control over it. As the writer of Ecclesiastes said: Just as “no one has authority to restrain the wind,” so also no one has “authority over the day of death” (Eccl. 8:8). When that day comes people are: “torn from the security of their tent, and they march him before the king of terrors”—a poetic reference to death (Job 18:14). The sobering reality that this life could end at any moment only underscores its brevity (cf. Job 14:1-2; Ps. 90:10). The truth expressed in the flippant statement, “You can’t take it with you!” indicates that everything done in this life (apart from serving God) is ultimately meaningless (cf. Eccl. 2:18-19). The Apostle Paul wrote: “For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either” (1 Tim. 6:7). As has been wryly noted, no one ever saw a hearse pulling a trailer. Tragically, people spend their entire lives accumulating possessions, which death snatches from them in an instant.

But the wonderful truth is that death does not have to be the end of all people’s hopes and dreams. For believers, it can be faced with joyous anticipation instead of anxious fear, because Jesus Christ has conquered death. When Jesus arrived at Bethany in John 11, Lazarus had been dead for four days. When Martha expressed regret that Jesus hadn’t arrived in time to heal Lazarus, but confidence that he would one day live again (11:17–24), Jesus (explained exactly how He is the Resurrection and the Life) (Willmington, H. L. (1997). Willmington’s Bible handbook (p. 616). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.).

Death marks the beginning of true life in glorified perfection and perfect fellowship with Christ for those who put their faith in the Lord. He will raise them up on the last day (6:39–40, 44), and they will live forever in His presence. In showing forth the implications of the Resurrection, in John 11:25-27, Jesus explains the 1) Reason (John 11:25) the 2) Reality (John 11:26) calls for a 3) Response (John 11:27) to the fact that He is the Resurrection and the Life.

In showing forth the implications of the Resurrection, Jesus explains the:

1) Reason (John 11:25) that He is the Resurrection and the Life.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, (ESV)

Martha unhesitatingly takes the words of Christ to refer to the final resurrection at the end of the age. Her words show that she had no idea of an immediate raising of Lazarus to life… Be that as it may, her words open the way for one of the great declarations of Jesus that mark this Gospel Challenging Martha to move beyond an abstract belief in the final resurrection to complete faith in Him, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.” In other words, eternal life and rescue from the finality of death are not merely gifts obtained by appeal to God; they are aspects of what it means to live a life in association with Jesus.( Burge, G. M. (2000). John (p. 317). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.)

This is the fifth of the seven “I AM” deity claims in John’s gospel (John 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 14:6; 15:1, 5). The I AM statements in John’s gospel illuminate the nature of Christ’s deity. Jesus claimed to be the bread of life (6:35), the light of the world (8:12), the door (10:7), the good shepherd (v. 11), the resurrection and the life (v. 25), the way, the truth, and the life (14:6), and the true vine (15:1). As God in human flesh, Jesus rightly pointed to Himself as the source of spiritual life, vitality, growth, and productivity. (Myers, A. C. (1987). In The Eerdmans Bible dictionary (pp. 590–591). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.)

Jesus will raise the dead in the future resurrection of which Martha spoke. But He was also going to raise her brother immediately. The Lord called her to a personal trust in Him as the One who alone has power over death. “First, He calls Himself the resurrection; for restoration from death to life precedes the state of life. But the whole human race is plunged in death. Therefore, no one will possess life unless they are first risen from the dead. Hence Christ teaches that He is the beginning of life (John Calvin as quoted in Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

Please turn back to John 5 (p.890)

Jesus’ next two statements, “everyone who lives and believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live [26] and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall/will never die,” are not redundant. They teach separate, though related, truths. The one who believes in Jesus though he die, physically yet shall he live spiritually, because Christ will raise him on the last day Hence “physical death is not the important thing”: believers “may die in the sense that they pass through the door we call physical death, but they will not die in the fuller sense. Death for them is but the gateway to further life and fellowship with God” (Köstenberger, A. J. (2004). John (p. 336). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.).

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