I AM... The Resurrection and The Life

What do you hope for? It could be good grades, a promotion, someone you love to recover from an illness, or maybe it’s the marriage proposal you’ve been waiting for! 
Each one of us has so many hopes – hopes for today, for next month and for the years ahead of us.  Yet we can still find ourselves feeling lost and unfulfilled.  Is this something you can relate to?
This blog is looking at the words of Jesus when He said, ‘I Am the Resurrection and the Life’ in John Chapter 11. During Jesus’ time on earth, some of those closest to Him included two sisters and a brother: Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  In this passage, Jesus hears that Lazarus is sick but instead of immediately rushing to meet him, Jesus waits for two more days in the town he is in, so that by the time he gets to his friends, Lazarus has already been dead for four days.
Now this family of siblings had spent a lot of time with Jesus and had seen him perform all kinds of miracles - so when Martha sees Jesus finally arriving she proclaims that if only He had arrived there sooner, her brother wouldn’t have died!  Martha had seen the miracles Jesus had performed and she trusted He was capable of healing people from their sickness – what she hadn’t considered was Jesus being able to raise someone from the dead.  It was at this point when Jesus said these words:
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.  Do you believe this?’ 
There were three questions that I was reflecting on while reading this story:
  1. Do I believe that Jesus is right there with me in my pain? 
When we feel pain and heartache we can feel so alone - maybe you’re able to sympathise with Martha who can’t understand how Jesus could let this happen... who can’t understand why Jesus didn’t step in sooner.  Yet what we see in this story isn’t Jesus arriving late and distracted by other people and things - instead Jesus walks with Mary and Martha in their pain and expresses the very human emotion of weeping with them! 
When difficult times come, we can so easily become distracted with our own emotions, yet we have the privilege of turning to a God who not only takes the time to comfort us, but who stands right there with us feeling the pain we feel.
  1. Do I live in a way that reflects Jesus is my eternal hope?
This story doesn’t end with death because Jesus does the impossible and raises Lazarus from the grave!
For Mary and Martha, Jesus had arrived too late and hope was gone.  Yet God works outside of our time and logic – so often situations happen in our lives that we don’t understand and yet we can trust in a God who is working out the plans for our lives according to His purposes.  Romans 8:28 says, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.’ 
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave, He displayed to all the hope we can have in trusting someone capable of overcoming anything we face, but His words in verse 25 give us so much more – they direct our attention to the eternal hope that is available for each of us… Jesus says ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never die.’  No matter who we are, or what we face, Jesus offers the hope of eternal life to all who believe in Him. This helps to shift our perspective away from our current circumstances and instead, look to Jesus!
  1. What is my response to the words that Jesus is saying to Martha – ‘Do you believe this?
Life runs by so quickly that we so often get caught up in the chaos and ‘to do’ lists of each day.  We need to continually remind ourselves of this question, ‘Do I believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life?’  Am I lifting my head up from my current circumstances to be reminded that Jesus is my eternal sustainable hope.
The things we look towards and hope for on earth, whether achievements, status, relationships, wealth, fame etc., all these things will bring temporary joy and can’t last forever.  Jesus is the resurrection and the life, the only one capable of raising a man from the dead, the only one capable of defeating death Himself, the only one who offers us a true and permanent hope!
So I go back to my original question and ask, ‘What do you hope for?’

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