Summary: EOLS: The Resurrection is the power that enables the Christian to live a productive and abundant daily life.
(23) Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
(24) Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
(25) Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
(26) and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
(27) She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world."
(10) that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
(11) that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
EOLS: The Resurrection is the power that enables the Christian to live a productive and abundant daily life.
It was the fulfillment of thousands of years of prophecy. It was the culmination of God’s plan, the very fulcrum on which human history turns. It was the most extraordinary demonstration of power in human experience.
It’s controversial, it’s a matter of both fact and faith. It’s an intensely theological issue and it has been fodder for debate for over two-thousand years. It can be summed up in two words:
Christ Arose. It’s profoundly simple. It’s the very heart of the Gospel.
It’s at the very core of the Christian confession; as a matter of fact if you are a Christian, the Bible says that you are by definition persuaded in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead:
(9) because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
At the grave of Lazarus, about three months before his own death, Jesus declared to the sister of Lazarus and the crowd standing there : “I AM the Resurrection and the Life” His sister was inquiring about what was to happen to her dead brother. She told Jesus “Lord, if you’d been here, he wouldn’t have died.” By now he’s been in the grave for four days, long enough to start stinking.
Jesus tells Mary her brother will rise again. She affirms that she very much believes that he will do so at the Resurrection, on the “Last Day.” Her comments set Jesus up perfectly to utter the words that would define Resurrection; words that would reverberate throughout the course of time…
He is God incarnate, the I AM, God in the flesh. The same God that is the self-existent, all sustaining one. The same God who answered Moses from the burning bush fifteen hundred years before Lazarus declaring I AM THAT I AM.
I AM…The Resurrection and the Life
You see Jesus does not just hold the power of Resurrection or wield it temporarily or on some limited basis. HE IS I AM …He IS the Resurrection, and the Life. He defines Resurrection and Life flows and follows wherever He goes. He IS and ever shall He BE.
Lazarus was not the first man to ever stop breathing, the heart stop pumping and the skin cold, to come back to life. It happened in the Old Testament according to God’s will. Elijah raised the Widow of Zarepath’s son from the dead. It happened again in the New Testament, even after Christ in the ministry of Paul. It’s an unusual occurrence, but it has and does happen by God’s will.
Such occasions would be better termed Resuscitation or Re-Animation. They were dead alright, stone cold dead. The power of God came upon them by faith through God’s man and as God willed, life re-filled their bodies. There’s even been some modern examples of this happening by faith and prayer. Occasionally for His own glory, God himself will break into human existence in extraordinary ways.
The downside, and why I differentiate the terminology is that, resuscitation is only temporary. Lazarus was raised to life by the Son of God himself after four days being dead, but to my knowledge he’s not around today. In about thirty, maybe forty years following that day Lazarus died, again. Jesus himself said the miracle was so that God might be glorified. But something was still missing in Lazarus’ life.
On the first Easter Sunday, something unprecedented happened.
(1) Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.
(2) And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.
(3) His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.