Summary: Uses the backdrop of Jesus raising Lazarus to examine the claim that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life.
The I AM Statements of Jesus
FCC – September 2, 2007
Text: John 11: 25-26
Introduction: This morning we are going to continue our sermon series on the “I AM Statements of Jesus” found in the gospel of John. So far we have looked at four “I AM” statements:
• I AM the Bread of Life
• I AM the Light of the World
• I AM the Door
• I AM the Good Shepherd
Today we are looking at possibly the most powerful of all the “I AM” statements found in John 11: I AM the Resurrection and the Life. Jesus made this statement in the context of raising His friend Lazarus from the dead. He spoke directly and personally to Martha and said in John 11:25-26 (NIV): Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" Jesus demonstrated that He had power over death by raising Lazarus from the dead.
Lazarus wasn’t the first person raised from the dead in the Bible.
• Elijah raised the son of a widow from the dead.
• Elisha raised the son of the Shunammite woman from the dead.
• Elisha’s dead bones raised a body from the dead.
• Jesus raised two others: the son of the widow of Nain and the daughter of Jairus
• Peter raised Dorcas from the dead
• Paul raised Eutychus from the dead
But Jesus resurrection was different from all the others. They were raised from the dead temporarily that is they all eventually died again. Jesus was raised eternally.
The resurrection of Jesus is central to the gospel message. In fact in 1 Cor. 15:3-4 (NIV) Paul says it was of first importance: For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…
1 Peter 1:3 (NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Ephes. 2:4-5 (NIV) But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.
The resurrection leads to…
Losing the sting of death. There is a certain sting to death. It affects not only those who die, but also those who love them. From our worldly perspective, death seems to be so final. It leaves an incredible hole in our lives that takes years to overcome. Mary and Martha lost their brother Lazarus and felt the sting of death. This is what Mary said to Jesus: John 11:32-33 (NIV) When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Mary and Martha felt the sting of death.
To Martha, Jesus provided comfort by declaring an awesome thing about Himself. John 11:25-26 (NIV) Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" Jesus declares that He is the resurrection and based on that fact, He gives life to all who believe. He demonstrates His power over death by raising Lazarus back to life…but that was just a temporary solution. Lazarus would eventually die again. Jesus proved that He had ultimate power and victory over the sting of death by His own resurrection. This was an eternal solution by which we find eternal life.
1 Cor. 15:55-57 (NIV) "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The resurrection leads to losing the sting of death and then it leads to…
Imperishable bodies. Death is cruel to these fragile bodies. You go to visitation at a funeral home and see a corpse in a casket and you realize how perishable our bodies really are. They decay very quickly. Lazarus had been dead for four days. Listen to Martha describe his condition: John 11:39-40 "Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" Lazarus’ body was perishable. Your body and my body is perishable.