Jesus said to her, “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?”
From death to life
The message was urgent. “Lord, the one you love is sick!” Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were good friends of Jesus. Lazarus became gravely ill. His time was running out. So his sisters sent word to Jesus with the immediate plea, “Come quickly! Help!”
But he didn’t. He stayed where he was for two more days. By the time Jesus arrived at Bethany, Lazarus had died, and his body had been in a tomb for four days. Jesus was too late.
As Jesus approached their house, Martha went out to meet him. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died,” she said to him. Why wasn’t he there when Lazarus was dying? But Martha also knew something else, “Even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Shining through her sorrow was the glimmer of faith in Jesus, the miracle worker.
To say that the death of a loved one is terribly painful is an understatement. Life is never the same after someone near and dear to us dies. Maybe you know that grief and pain all too well. Maybe someone near and dear to you is sick. You pray and ask Jesus for help and healing, “Lord, the one you love is sick!” But what if he doesn’t answer in the way you hope he will? Does the thought of dying make you afraid?
“Your brother will rise again,” Jesus said to Martha. Then he walked up to the tomb and shouted into it, “Lazarus, come out!” And Lazarus did. Jesus brought the dead one back to life. He was there after all! He did something even greater than Mary and Martha even could have imagined.
Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He holds and uses absolute power over death. He showed it in raising Lazarus from the dead, and he proved it when he rose from the dead himself. That’s what we see on this Resurrection Day! Jesus will do for you exactly what he did for Lazarus. “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” He will do the same for all who believe in him. Jesus will raise all of his believers from the dead one day, and they will never die again! They will live with him in glory forever.
In this world, you will wrestle with grief over the death of a dear one. You will face the end of your own earthly life. You will face death, but in Jesus, you have eternal life! Don’t be afraid! He has resurrection power to reverse death. Someday, Jesus will shout to you, “Come out!” And his promise will come true, “You will not die, but live again!”
Prayer: Lord of life, in the face of sorrow and even death, give me joy, confidence, and hope in the fact that Christ is risen, he is risen indeed! You are my resurrection; you are my life. Resurrect my faith today until the day you take me into glory. Amen.