Summary: Jesus said to Martha, "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." This is the foundation of the Christian faith and is full of hope for the future whateve
Resurrection foundations (John 11:17-44)
The whole meaning of Easter is summed up in what Jesus said to Martha: I am ‘the resurrection and the life’ and because He is who He is, we pray that He will so raise us, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness’
When Jesus said that He was the ‘resurrection and the life’ He was speaking to Martha when He arrived at their home and learnt of Lazarus’s death.
Lazarus had been dead 4 days and decay had begun to set in and we’re told of a very human reaction of how Martha approaches Jesus and basically tells Him - "I know the theology, but if you had only been here..."
Good theology was cold comfort. But then Jesus repeats the theology and asks Martha the oddest question:
"Your brother will rise again." Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." (good theology)
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…."
And then comes the odd question: "Do you believe this?"
That question is also aimed at us, there is a lot of difference in reading and understanding theology but believing and making it part and parcel of our everyday lives is something totally different.
Jesus was asking if she believed in HIM, He WHO WAS and IS the resurrection and the life.
Have you ever bought a product with a warranty? A LIFETIME guarantee? – what ever that means
The irony is that the product with a "lifetime guarantee" is only as good as the paper its written on!
After all how long is that lifetime going to last? Just how long is that company going to be in business?
The guarantee is only as good as the one who gives it!
Jesus was telling Martha that resurrection was a reality, not because it was good theology - but because He was guaranteeing it.
It would happen because He was going to make it happen.
If we believe this: it makes all the difference in the world… through His own death and resurrection.
With this kind of conviction in our hearts, the idea of our own resurrection is not just cold theology - it’s a burning fire that drives us.
Such conviction makes all the difference in the world:
- It ensures we are Who we are: In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he say’s "But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." (Romans 8:10-11)
Paul’s basic thought is that the Christian is integrally united, one with Christ.. Christ in us and we are in Christ.
Now Christ died and rose again; He conquered death; and the one who is in Christ is one with death’s conqueror and so shares in that victory.
It still remains true that the Spirit-controlled, Christ possessed person is on the way to life, LIFE ETERNAL.
Death is but an inevitable interlude that has to be passed through on the way and that surely affects the way we are.
– Believing that Christ is the Resurrection and the Life dictates How we live: The OT book of Job gives us all the hope in the world as to the way we should live the Christian life:
"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes-- I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" (Job 19:25-27)
When you hear this passage of scripture in Handel’s Messiah its hard to belief that its from the OT.
It is used as an Aria between the Hallelujah chorus and the chorus: Since by man came death, by man came the resurrection of the dead… both from the NT!!
But its not out of place, in fact it complements, stressing the Christian hope that Jesus has won for us by His glorious resurrection.
I know that my Redeemer lives…
I know that I will see God…
I know that I will live beyond the grave..
I know that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life..
How we live is based on what we believe and our attitude to live itself, with Christ’s victory we have the hope beyond every hope, eternal life beyond this life.