The next I AM declaration by Jesus is the prelude to a bold, audacious, astounding miracle! A direct action by Jesus, not just words! Which reminds me of something Jesus said to the Pharisees in a previous exchange with them. (John 10:31-38) They were upset with him and about to stone him for things He had said. His response?
“If I am not doing my Father’s works, don’t believe me. But if I am doing them and you don’t believe me, believe the works.”
If you can’t believe what I say, believe what you see I am doing!
And then He gave them another miracle to scratch their heads over and ponder!
A man named LAZARUS is raised from the dead.
Before you just write that off as myth, consider the fact that the men used (by God) to write these accounts, did so to their own peril. They wrote of what they had been witnesses of, they spoke of what they had been witnesses of and the majority of them died for that very reason. And hundreds of thousands since then have done the same. Perhaps it is more than a myth!
Now Jesus had spent time in the home of Lazarus and his 2 sisters Martha and Mary on more than one occasion. At the time of Lazarus’s death, Jesus was in another city. The sisters sent word to Him of their brother’s illness most likely with the assumption that Jesus would heal him as he did so many others. Jesus had a bigger agenda though. He stayed away on purpose until Lazarus had passed away, and been laid to rest. Giving enough time that there was no doubt the life was gone from his body.
This account is found in John 11. Upon Jesus’ return to their city Martha learns of his arrival and meets him on the way. In her grief she exclaims her belief that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died for surely Jesus would have healed him. Let’s listen in to the conversation, (John 11:21-27)
Martha: “But even now I know whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”
Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’
Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Drum roll – here it comes!!
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.
After a few more exchanges with others Jesus prays to the Father then cries out with a loud voice: “Lazarus, come forth!”
And the dead man came out…
I AM the Resurrection and the Life.
Not just life on this earth. Yes, Lazarus was raised to life on earth, that wasn’t his final resurrection for he did eventually die again- to live forever. A great object lesson preparing the hearts of the people for what Jesus had been telling them about Himself.
Mark 8:31 “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” And Mark 9:31, Mark 10:34, Matthew 20:19, 26:2
The power of death was negated by the power of Jesus. Jesus’ resurrection power is the great exclamation point to God’s love for us. How far He is willing to go to find and save his lost sheep. The Good Shepherd willingly gives up His Life that we, His sheep, may have life. Eternal, spiritual life in HIS presence.
Life and death hang in the balance of your belief about this man Jesus. Which way will the balance sway when your day arrives?
Have you responded to the Shepherd’s call to enter through the gate into His fold that you too may experience this resurrection power to eternal life?
For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
Until next time