Summary: What does it mean for Jesus to be the resurrection and the life.

I Am The Resurrection And The Life

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. – John 10:14

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. – John 17:3

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection. – Philippians 3:10

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. – 2 Peter 1:2

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true One. We are in the true One—that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. – 1 John 5:20

• My sheep know me

• To know Jesus is eternal life

• Grace and peace are ours though our knowledge of Jesus

• I want to know Christ

• So that we may know Jesus the true God and eternal life.

B/S – that is why (knowing) better the one we have chosen to follow… we are doing this series

AND LISTEN – since April 26th we have unpacked some powerful… know Jesus better truths, that are intended to both anchor and shape our lives…

MGCC - Jesus is…

• The Word become flesh

• Mighty God, Immanuel

• The Good Shepherd

• The Prince of peace

• The Lamb of God

• The Head of the body,

• The Bridegroom of the bride,

• The Vine of the branches and

• The Cornerstone of the building

• The Way, The Truth and The Life

• The Everlasting Father


B/S – I want to encourage you to – think on reflect on and pray over this names and titles..

NOW – John chapter 11 is a fairly well known chapter.

It takes place just days before Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion

AND – its in John 11 is where we find the 4th of the great I am statements that Jesus makes in Johns Gospel…

Already in John Jesus has revealed that..

• I Am the Bread of Life

• I Am the Light of the World

• I am the Door of the sheep.

AND - John 11 is also where we see the 7th miracle that records in his Gospel…

miracles that John says he recorded…

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. – John 20:31

AND – John 11 is also where we find the shortest verse in the bible, that ‘go to’ verse when people are ask to quote a scripture passage from memory.

John 11:35… Jesus wept.

NOW – I gotta to be honest… I thought this was going to be an easy conversation for me to put together.

BUT – it was not… I did my best.

Let’s Pray…

OKAY – let’s do this!

AND LISTEN – the way I want to attack this conversation is to simply walk through John 11:1-44, and highlight some truths along the way.

I. Lazarus was sick

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.

Bethany was located about 2 miles from Jerusalem…

AND – Jesus at the time according to John 10 (after the Jewish leaders tried to stone him) had crossed over the Jordan River and was doing ministry in the area of Peraea (where John the Baptist had spent time baptizing) it was about a 2 days journey from Bethany.

AND THEN – John adds some commentary…

(This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair)

NOW – that had not happened yet (John 12 night before triumphal entry).

And we, could even add a more commentary… this is the same Mary and Martha we find in Luke 10…

Where Martha is working in the kitchen and Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus… and Martha goes to rat out her sister to Him about her not helping and Jesus responds…

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41

SO – this is a family that Jesus is very close with and the brother (Lazarus) is extremely sick.

QUESTION – have you ever had someone you love be in that very same condition?

UNDERSTAND - this was an extremely difficult time for these two sisters. No hospital to take him too. Not much by the way of medicine or medical treatments.

NDOW - Lazarus just keeps getting sicker and sicker.

So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

Not a bad idea, amen?!

I MEAN - their brother is sick, and they are in trouble, so they turned to Jesus.

LIKE - that’s what followers of Jesus should do, right?

If you’re in trouble, you should turn to Jesus.

HEY DID YOU NOTICE - that they simply let Jesus know what’s going on, LIKE - they don’t make any demands on him to drop everything and come Bethany.

YOU SEE – they know how important His ministry is, yet they are no doubt hoping that Jesus will break away from His heavy traveling itinerary and come to Bethany to heal their brother.

NOW – it appears that they may have waited too long, BECAUSE - by the time the messengers make it to Jesus to inform Him of Lazarus’ condition, He is probably already dead… though the messengers did not know this at the time.

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

SO – I’m thinking that these messengers probably felt pretty encouraged at the time…

OKAY – sweet this sickness will not end in death… I can’t wait to bring Mary and Martha the news.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

UNDERSTAND – Jesus (our God) is relational.

HE – is all about having personal relationships with people.

With you and with me.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,

Lazarus was sick

II. Jesus Delayed

NOW - you would rightfully expect him to drop everything and run to their aid. “Hey Peter, John, James, Thomas Matthew… Lazarus is sick! let’s get everything together and go!” BUT - he doesn’t do that.

INSTEAD - He gets the news that his friend Lazarus is sick, and He stays there two more days.

QUESTION… Why did He wait?

Was it a lack of commitment to their friendship?

Did he not care about them?

I MEAN - wouldn’t a friend, when called, run to the aid of that call?

Was it a lack of love?

Did he not love them as they loved him?

LIKE - John even tells us that Mary was the one who anointed Jesus with expensive perfume.

They loved him that much!

Didn’t he love them to the same degree?

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,

AGAIN - it seems like an odd response, doesn’t it?

“We’re in trouble!” his friends yell—and he stays put.


John says, “Because He loves them!”

NOW - Talk about a head scratcher, like wouldn’t love propel you to go? “

INSEAD - John says, “love is what caused him to delay!”

UNDERSTAND – because Jesus loves them…

• He wanted them to see the full glory of God

• He wanted them to get a glimpse of Him that they had not yet seen

• He wanted them to be put in a place where their faith would have the opportunity to be stretched and grow

• He had something bigger and better in mind, than just the healing of a sick body.

• SO, He delayed

AND MGCC - this is both a good reminder and an encouragement for us during those time…

when we pray a prayer or send out a plea for help… not to become too quickly discouraged or even jaded, when God doesn’t respond, as fast as we think He should.

UNDERSTAND B/S - God doesn’t always act on our time schedule. His timing isn’t our timing.

YOU SEE - Jesus is the very image of the invisible God, and in this delay, He gives us powerful insight, that I’d say is worth engraving onto our spirit:

Don’t judge God’s love for you based on what you can or can’t see in the immediate moment.

YES - Jesus delays, but it’s not because he lacks love.

SURE - someone could jump to that conclusion.

BUT – they would be wrong, because His delay was 100% fueled by His love.


NOW – before we move on…

LET ME SAY – that it is easy to shake our heads in agreement when this is just an abstract theological principle (or a fill in the blank in a sermon outline)

Of course God delays sometimes. That shouldn’t cause us to doubt his care or love.

BUT THEN - something happens, TO US?

Our loved one is battling yet another bout of cancer.

Our child just keeps getting sicker and sicker

Or you just want a job—not Fortune 500 job, just a job. Something that can provide for your family. You’re not asking for the moon, but it doesn’t come.

We pray, ask, and plead, and our prayers don’t seem to be answered.

“Lord, when will you show up?”

“Lord, when will you come to our aid and do something?”

“Lord, how long will to delay?

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, LORD, how long? – Psalm 6:2,3

YES – sometimes our prayers and our pleadings seem like they fall on deaf ears. LIKE – God is blind to our condition.

BUT LISTEN - nothing could be further from the truth!

God is never blind or deaf to those he loves.

He neither slumbers nor sleeps.

He does not ever forget his people!

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

– Isaiah 49:15,16

UNDERSTAND B/S – when God delays it is always for a good reason…. So He is worthy of our trust.

- He could be delaying so that our faith may increase, as he does in this passage.

- Or it could be so that we would learn to trust in him more fully.

- Or perhaps so that we would see his divine power even more at work, as they see in this passage.

Jesus delayed.

and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

Jesus is not safe to go back to Judea.

We do not think this is a good idea.

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

12 hours in a day = the length of the Jewish workday

In other words – Jesus is saying…

‘Guys, it is still daylight… My work for God is not yet finished.

And until, it is no one is going to be able to lay a finger on me.

YOU SEE - Although Jesus is being cautious about not getting caught, because it is not yet His time, no one in Jerusalem has the power to kill prematurely.

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

If He sleeps, he will get better = if he sleeps than there is no need for us to go and risk our lives.

Quick side bar – Jesus never promised us a life without risk.


So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him. 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Lazarus is dead - Jesus delayed

III. Lazarus is DEAD…

Lazarus is what?

AND LISTEN – one day the very same thing will be said of you… That you are dead…

YES – you are going to die.

IN FACT – you are dying, right now.

UNDERSTAND – everyone who has ever breathed air and walked on this planet has died. Except for Enoch and Elijah.

Check out what Solomon wrote…

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. – Ecclesiastes 7:2

Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. – Hebrews 9:27,28

people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…

QUESTION – so how does that make you feel?

AND NOTE – this judgement is not a trial… (where you plead your case and hope to be found innocent)

RATHER - it is simply that moment our sentence is carried out (heaven or hell forever)… based on only one thing did we surrender our lives to Jesus before we died.

Lazarus is dead.

This week I went on a website this week called…

NOW - the site asks you to enter some basic data about yourself and then you hit a button and it tells you the day that you will die.

Tuesday May 31, 2039

79 years 3 months and 27 days old…

I have < 19 years left

AND LISTEN - I gotta to admit… after hitting that button and see my date and tombstone, I was like okay that sucks.

SO – I played with some of the data input to try to live longer.

UNDERSTAND B/S - everyone dies, even the most powerful, sophisticated, intimidating, successful, and educated among us.

The dynamic young businessman, the glamorous actress, the great athlete, the brilliant scientist, the television personality, the powerful politician-none can resist the moment when death will lay its hand upon them and bring all their fame and achievements to nothing. …

Death is no respecter of time or place…

It can strike at any moment of the day or night, on land, on the sea or in the air.

It comes to the hospital bed, the busy road, the comfortable armchair, the sports field and the office; there is not a single spot on the face of the planet where it is not able to strike."

The philosopher Epicurus said, "It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls."

Death is a great, equalizing power. And no one can escape it.

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. Praise the name of Yahweh. – Job 1:21

NOW - I know what some of you are thinking.

I MEAN – I can feel the uncomfortableness and tension in the room... and even among those watching in cyberspace.

“Come on Steve, stop talking about death. Let’s get to the happy stuff.”

BUT LISTEN – we must talk about this… because this is one thing that everyone of us has in common, we are all going to die.


Does thinking about your death make you uncomfortable?

Does it cause any fear to settle in, and begin to way a little on your heart and mind?

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. – Hebrews 2:14-15

Who holds the power of death?

Who needs to be set free?

Only 25% is not at all afraid

Death = Separation

Physical death = separation of the spirit from the body

Spiritual death = separation of the spirit from God

AGAIN - every single person who has ever walk on this planet has died, because in Genesis 3 death entered God’s world..

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” - Genesis 2:16,17

AND – Genesis 3… they eat the fruit and death became the temporary new norm.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned. – Romans 5:12

Lazarus is dead.

B/S - we can try to avoid it.

We can wish it away, saying, “I hope death doesn’t come”

We can see doctor after doctor and take all the right pills, but no one can keep death at bay forever!

Death comes for every single one of us.

LIKE - that famous passage in 2 Samuel 14:14 says,

“We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.”

Have you ever tried to collect water that has been spilled on the ground?

You can’t do it. The same is true of death…

Though some foolishly try.

Like what they have done to Communist leader,

Vladimir Lenin…

Since January 21, 1924 his body has been embalmed, painted and put on display… and put through a process every year at a cost $250,000 in an effort to make it look as though he is still alive.

MGCC – the point I am trying to drive home is that death is a powerful enemy, and we do not do ourselves or any else any favors by ignoring it.

It comes for all of us. But, take heart for as we will see there is one who is much more powerful than death.

Let’s continue in John 11…

On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

This number 4 (dead 4 days) is significant…

YOU SEE – the Jews believed that a person’s spirit kind of hovered over the body for three days… but on the 4th day it left for good.

So 4 days means that Lazarus is not just dead, but he is dead dead…

Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.

A great picture of community.

Sure that had the family, but in really tough times it is great to have a community, to have other people come along side of you. Amen?!

Lazarus is sick - Jesus delayed - Lazarus is dead…

IV. If You Had Been Here

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

NOW - that’s an interesting declaration.

Ever felt that way?

There’s some faith in it.

I MEAN - she trusts that Jesus could have saved her brother, and she expresses that.

BUT - there is also some error wrapped up in this statement. She professes that if Jesus had been there, her brother wouldn’t have died.

QUESTION - what gives her such confidence?

I MEAN - Jesus never promised to keep Lazarus alive through this illness.

UNDERSTAND MGCC - we often put words into the mouth of Christ that aren’t his.

LIKE - We have these what-ifs:

“If only you had been here, Jesus, this bad thing wouldn’t have happened!”

But how do we know?

I MEAN – we turn into knots with all of these ‘if onlys’

when it’s so much better to stop, rest, and say,

“God’s will was done!”

And listen maybe just ‘His being’ there is what we ‘really’ need.

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.

Lazarus is sick - Jesus delayed – Lazarus died – If only you had been here

V. Even Now

NOW – come on, you’ve got to love her ‘even now’ faith.

I MEAN – Martha is still holding out hope 4 days after the funeral.

AND – not without good reason

I MEAN – she no doubt heard about Jesus raising the daughter of Jarius a synagogue ruler, and a widows son during the actual funeral procession.

BUT – still its 4 days after the funeral… (dead-dead)

To be honest, a psychotherapist might diagnose this as a psychotic break.

BUT LISTEN – faith frequently looks like it is out of touch with reality,

BUT UNDERSTAND THAT’S - because it’s in touch with a reality that is more real than anything you can see or hear or taste or touch or smell with your 5 senses.

(5000, 5 loaves 2 fish)

SURE – Martha’s sentence could have ended after she says, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.” But Martha refuses to put a period there, because she knows that God still has the power to insert a comma.

“Even now God will give you whatever you ask”

B/S – there is nothing like ‘even now’ faith…

Even now, when it seems like God is 4 days late, it’s still too soon to give up.

Even now, when it seems like your dream is dead and buried, don’t but a period there.

Because God may have an incredible comma just waiting to insert into your life.

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered,

(I think slightly disappointed because Jesus said ‘he will rise again, not live again)

“I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

YOU SEE - first century Jews believed in a resurrection—at least most Jews, and certainly those who followed the Pharisees’ teachings.

You’ll remember that the Sadducees did not believe in a resurrection. One of the ways to tell the difference between a Pharisee and a Sadducee is that Pharisees believed in a resurrection and the Sadducees didn’t, so they are sad, you see.

SO - Martha believes in the resurrection. Her brother is dead and in the grave, but she believes that in the future, there will be a bodily resurrection of all who have died.

She knows that this is the teaching of the Scriptures.

Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. – Daniel 12:2

“I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

NOW – that was a good answer…

But Jesus is about to take her understanding…

FROM - a general resurrection…

TO - him who not only can provide but who is the resurrection.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

Lazarus is sick - Jesus delayed – Lazarus died – If only you had been here - Even Now…

VI. I Am The Resurrection And The Life

Jesus is telling Martha, “I’m not just the one who speaks about and points to the resurrection – and has the power to resurrect…

I am the resurrection and the life...”

UNDERSTAND – Jesus makes 2 statements in verse 25…

I am the resurrection and I am the life

Because I am the resurrection...

The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

Jesus is claiming to be the source of our physical resurrection…

Because I am the life…

whoever lives by believing in me will never die

Jesus is claiming to be the source of eternal life

When Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” He was claiming to be the source of both.

There is no resurrection apart from Christ, and there is no eternal life apart from Christ.

Beyond that, Jesus was also making a statement concerning His divine nature. He does more than give life; He is life, and therefore death has no ultimate power over Him.

Jesus confers this spiritual life on those who believe in Him, so that they share His triumph over death…

God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. – 1 John 5:10,11

Believers in Jesus Christ will experience resurrection because, having the life Jesus gives, it is impossible for death to defeat them

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “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.-1 Corinthians 15:53-57

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. – Philippians 1;21

Lazarus is sick - Jesus delayed – Lazarus died – If only you had been here - Even Now – I am the resurrection and the life...

VII. Do You Believe This?

“Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

- John 11:26, 27

After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.

Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

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. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

Jesus wept.

Lazarus is sick Jesus delayed – Lazarus died – If only you had been here - Even Now – I am the resurrection and the life – Do you believe this…

VIII. Jesus Wept


Because of their sorrow

Because He loved Lazarus

Because this is not how it was supposed to be

Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

There will always be critics.

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “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 believe, you will see the glory of God?”

Lazarus is sick - Jesus delayed – Lazarus died – If only you had been here - Even Now – I am the resurrection and the life – Do you believe this – Jesus Wept…

IX. Did I not tell you

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

I am convinced that God is looking for 2 responses this morning…

And listen – one of them is the response that He is looking from you.

2 Responses God is looking for today, either…

1. Come Out!

2. Take Of The Grave Clothes!