As it is coming up to Easter, and everybody is talking about some guy dying and being raised to life 2000 years ago(!), I decided to write this post on one of my favourite Bible verses, John 11:25 ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die.’ (NCV), and talk about another amazing thing that Jesus did.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die.”
The context of this verse is an amazing story, a story of a man called Lazarus dying and being raised back to life again. Lazarus was Mary (not Jesus’ mother, but the one that poured really expensive perfume of Jesus feet and wiped it with her hair in John 12) and Martha’s brother, and a close friend of Jesus. When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick he stayed where he was and did not go to help for a few days saying that the illness ‘will not end in death… but will bring glory to the son of God.’ When Jesus eventually arrived in Bethany where Lazarus was, he found that Lazarus had been dead for four days. People at the time of Jesus believed that the soul departed after three days of death, so the fact that it was four days shows that Lazarus was well and truly dead in Jewish terms. So was Jesus too late, had he missed the opportunity to help Lazarus?
Martha was understandably very upset and when Jesus arrived she went running to him crying and saying ‘If you’d have been here my brother would not have died.’ Jesus then said to Martha ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die. And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Martha, do you believe this?’ Martha said that she believed that Jesus was the son of God.
Mary then came to Jesus, also crying and asking him why he had let Lazarus die. It says in the Bible that at this point ‘Jesus was deeply upset and troubled…. Jesus cried’ I think this is amazing to read, as it shows how human Jesus was. His friend had died and he grieved like you and I would. If you want to know a special term for this, my RE teacher would be telling me this shows ‘Low Christology.’ In other words it shows that Jesus was a man like us, who had emotions. He is also reflecting God’s sadness when we are upset, God feels our emotions too.
Don’t worry though, Jesus is still much more than a just a human in this bible story, and definitely lets his ‘Godliness’ shine in a minute!
Mary and Martha then directed Jesus to the tomb that Lazarus had been buried in. Jesus said ‘Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?’ Then after praying he simply said ‘Lazarus come out,’ and guess what happened…. Lazarus, the man that had been dead for four days, walked out of the tomb.
Something that Jesus did a lot on earth was perform miracles that showed physically on an individual or a small group of people something that was happening inside for many. Unfortunately not everybody is going to be physically raised from the dead, but Jesus says that spiritual resurrection is available for those who truly believe in Him.
“Lazarus come out!”
If you’re anything like me, hearing the verse, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die’ will immediately bring up lots of questions and you may be thinking that it makes no sense at all; how can somebody have life after they die? Jesus is saying that when we die on earth our lives will come to an end, but we get to spend forever in heaven with Him. This is thanks to Jesus defeating death and rebuilding the bridge for all of humanity to reach God again. Jesus has power over heaven and earth, over death and life and promises to use the same resurrection power on us if we believe in Him. Martha had strong faith and believed that Jesus was the Son of God and so her faith was rewarded and so will ours.
I hope you all have an amazing Easter and are reminded of Jesus’ unconditional love for you! If you have any other favourite verses, why not post them below?