“I am the resurrection and the life….” John 11:25a (NLT)
Jesus’ fifth I AM statement was authenticated by the very miracle He performed raising Lazarus from the dead. In this chapter, Jesus’ dear friend, Lazarus, had become very ill and his sisters, Mary and Martha, sent a message to Jesus with the hope that He would come quickly and heal their brother. If you’re familiar with the story, you know that Jesus intentionally waited four days before coming and, by this time, Lazarus had died and was buried. When Jesus arrived, He was met with both sisters saying the same thing,
“Lord, if only You had been here my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give You whatever You ask.” Vs. 21; 32
Have you ever said that to God in prayer? Lord, if only…. This is one of the reasons I love the Bible so much. It doesn’t cover up the raw emotions of Christ’s followers. We can all identify with these sisters with regard to our own if only heart cries. But, the story doesn’t stop here. This is where the real miracle begins to take shape.
First, Jesus would reintroduce Himself to those who thought they knew Him already. He had been in their home a number of times. Martha had prepared meals for Him and His followers, and Mary had anointed His feet with expensive perfume. If anyone knew Jesus, you would think it would have been this family! Yet, one of the intriguing wonders of God is how we progressively come to know Him better and better. Often, God will use difficult and painful circumstances to reveal Himself to us in ways we would not otherwise understand. In this case, it was through the death of their brother. Even Jesus Himself wept at Lazarus’ tomb. He identified with their grief and the sorrow that sin and death bring in this world. Yet, He needed them to know who He was!
I AM the resurrection and the life, He said to Martha. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying. Jesus was personifying what she had previously believed as a doctrine. Martha believed in the resurrection as a doctrine and future event that Jesus had spoken of before. But, how could that help in this present crisis? Jesus transformed her understanding of who He was! He took the doctrine of the resurrection out of a book or concept and put it into a person – Himself!
I am the resurrection and the life! Jesus not only personalized the doctrine she believed, but He moved it from the future to the present. In his comments on this passage, Warren Wiersbe said,
“Martha was looking to the future, knowing that Lazarus would rise again and she would see him. Her friends were looking to the past and saying, ‘He could have prevented Lazarus from dying!’ (John 11:37) But Jesus tried to center their attention on the present: wherever He is, God’s resurrection power is available now.”
This is what I call the believer’s Come Back Capacity! What is it in your life that has you defeated and saying If only … to God? Take another look at this Savior who said, I AM the resurrection and the life! Experience the power of His resurrection life today. Because He is the resurrection and the life, not even death can separate us from Him! In fact, Jesus went on to tell Martha,
“Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
When you believe this, nothing can destroy your faith! You will discover that no circumstance, regardless of the situation, is too much for the great I AM to handle!