Summary: This week we continue our series into Discovery who Jesus says He is through the I Am statements in the book of John. This week looks at The Resurrection and the Life
Welcome to week 6 of our I am series. We have been learning who Jesus says that He is, and I believe this is one of the most powerful truths this week, because this is the statement that changes everything, this is the statement that brings victory in defeat, that breaks the chains, that brings freedom, that breaks the curse that is on this world. Turn with me this morning to John 11
Read John 11:1-44
I am the Resurrection and the Life!...In this story, Jesus foreshadows what He will do for all who believe in Him, but this was done on the physical level. So often many of these I am statements were referring to the spiritual things around us. Eat my flesh…referring to joining Him in is death…I am the light…he heals our spiritual blindness…but this week starts off with an object lesson, and oddly enough Martha thinking in the Spiritual as Jesus is talking about the physical.
It starts off with Jesus receiving word that Lazarus was sick. Martha expected Jesus to drop everything to come and heal their brother. They believed in Jesus, they knew he had the power to heal the sick. Often times we end up in the same situation, we expected God to act in what We feel is right…we expected God to move one way and He does the unexpected…We put God in a box and God will never be pinned in.
I love the words written by CS Lewis in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, describing Aslan…Lewis’s representation of Jesus: “He’ll be coming and going,” he had said. “One day you’ll see him and another you won’t. He doesn’t like being tied down—and of course he has other countries to attend to. It’s quite all right. He’ll often drop in. Only you mustn’t press him. He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”
Too often we want a tamed lion, one who is willing to jump through the ring of fire when we crack the whip, but we forget that we serve God, not the other way around…He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judea, and he is not a tame lion…“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
How often have we been upset with God when things do not go the way that we expected them to go? How often do we moan and complain that he didn’t answer our request right when we wanted it. Jesus’ plans were not to leave Lazarus without giving Him healing, but Mary and Martha did not know this, nor did they fully trust Jesus to come through for them. Look at verse 21 Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even in her unbelief, there is almost hope in the next verse: But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” She almost believes…she is like the good Christian praying but not believing. She knows all the right things to say, but there is not real belief behind them. Jesus even tells her, your brother will rise, and she is stuck in the spiritual…but Jesus was talking about the physical.
Martha believed the battle was over and while her brother would rise one day in the end, right now there was nothing more for her to do. How often do we do the same thing? The world has come and beat us up, there were walls that came up that stopped us…the enemy has thrown all that he has at us and we give up….We forget who we are walking with…He is not a tame Lion, He has a plan, all we have to do is trust in Him!
Some of us are like the preacher who was on a diet and prayed as he drove to work- "Now, Lord if it is your Will for me not to have any donuts this morning You make sure there are no parking places in front of the donut shop." And he later said, "I ate the donuts because there were two places right up front on only my 8th trip around the block." We need to make sure we don’t play the game of making God’s guidance fit what we want rather than seeing if what we want actually fits His plans. Martha wanted Jesus to stop everything and come and heal her Brother, but he allowed Lazarus to die, to teach a greater lesson, to prove a bigger issue than just being Lord over illness!
Then there was Mary…she is in the house, surrounded by mourners over the loss of her brother. Martha quietly tells here that Jesus has arrived and she falls at his feet. Look at what she says to Jesus. Verse 32: Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Wait wasn’t that the same thing that Martha just said…why is there a different response. With Martha, Jesus kept talking calmly, but with Mary Jesus is deeply moved in his Spirit. Despite the testimony of the Bible, despite the signs of Jesus all around them, which they all bore witness to the life of the divine sovereignty that has come into the world through him, and despite the word that he proclaimed, with its emphasis on the promise of life now and hereafter, they mourned like everyone else. They didn’t get it, they were still lost in a sinful world. Here He is the Resurrection and the Life standing in their midst, the Good Shepherd, the Son of Man who came to seek and save the lost, and even after all that he has taught and done, they are still lost they still do not understand his purpose…