But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and forever.  Amen.

2 Peter 3:18

I am the Resurrection and the Life

 

 

 

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

 

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

 

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.  John 11:25-27

 

As noted in a previous article “Yahweh: The Great I AM” God revealed himself to Moses, at the burning bush, as I AM, THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14).

 

Jesus used the same name for Himself in His seven, great I AM statements found in the Gospel of John.  In our July/August 2014 Tulip Gems Issue, we examined John 6:35, where Jesus said, I am the bread of life.

 

In our September/October 2014 Issue, we studied John 8:12, where Jesus said, I am the light of the world.

 

In our November/December 2014 Issue, we considered John 10:9, where our Lord Jesus said, I am the door.

 

In our January/February 2015 Issue, we meditated on John 10:11, where our Lord Jesus said, I am the good shepherd.

 

Now, if the Lord wills, we’d like to take a closer look at our Lord’s fifth great I AM statement, found in John 11:25, I am the resurrection and the life.

 

To better understand our Lord’s statement, it might be a good to recall what event occasioned it.

 

Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, had died four days before.  Lazarus and his two sisters were all friends of Jesus and loved by Him.

 

Martha and Mary had sent for Jesus, when Lazarus was yet alive, but sick.  They knew He had the power to heal Lazarus.  But our Lord, when He received the message from Martha and Mary, did not come right away.

 

When our Lord did finally come, Lazarus was dead.  His grief stricken sister Martha hears that the Lord has finally come.  She goes out to meet Him, while Mary, still mourning, stays at home.  We pick up the narrative here.

 

And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

 

Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

 

Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

 

But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

 

Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

 

Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

 

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

 

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

 

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.  John 11:19-27

 

Martha’s faith in Christ was richly rewarded.  The grief stricken sister of Lazarus watched our blessed Lord Jesus raise her brother from the dead on that very same day.  She didn’t have to wait to the “Last Day”.

 

And there were plenty of witnesses to that event.  The raising of Lazarus was a bodily, physical, visible resurrection.   We pick up the Scripture narrative where we left off:

 

And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.

 

As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.

 

Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.

 

The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.

 

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

 

When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,

 

And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

 

Jesus wept.

 

Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

 

And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

 

Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

 

Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

 

Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

 

Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

 

And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

 

And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

 

And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

 

Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

 

But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.  John 11:28-46

 

We can learn several things from this account.

 

First, our Lord’s statement “I am the Resurrection and the Life” was no idle claim or vain boast.  It was a clear claim to Deity.  And it was proven true by our Lord’s miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead.

 

Second, it illustrates the doctrine of “Unconditional Election”.  There were many dead bodies in the graves among which Lazarus was buried.  Had our Lord chose to, He could have raised them all from the dead.

 

Had He simply said, “Come forth” there would have been a resurrection of all from their graves.  But instead, He chose (elected) to raise only Lazarus. He said, “Lazarus, come forth”.

 

Why?  Our God is Sovereign (King) over all and does as He sees best.  “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

 

Third, it is a physical illustration of the spiritual doctrine of “Irresistible Grace” in the “New Birth”.  Lazarus had a “free will”.  He was free to come to Christ if he chose to do so.

 

There was just one problem.  Lazarus was physically dead.  Before he could choose to come to Christ, he first had to be made alive again.  And only Christ could give him that life.  Lazarus could not make himself alive.

 

Just as Lazarus was physically dead, so all people of Adam’s race are born spiritually dead in trespasses and sins.  Ever since the sin of our first parents, we come into this world physically alive, but spiritually dead.

 

Like Lazarus, we are free to come to Christ if we choose.  But just like Lazarus, we cannot, because we are dead in trespasses and sins.  We first need a miracle from God—a spiritual resurrection from the dead.

 

Spiritually dead people may appear outwardly alive.  Physically, they are alive.  They see, hear, speak, walk, eat, drink, work and play.  Often, they love their families, and may be good neighbors and citizens of their country.

 

But spiritually, they are dead to the things of God.  They cannot see the kingdom of God, let alone enter into it.  To them, the Bible is a book of myths and contradictions.  The Gospel has no attraction to them.

 

To them, Jesus may have been a good man and teacher, but he was not the Son of God.  They feel no need to repent of their sins and ask him for forgiveness.  They have no desire for his gift of eternal life.

 

In order to choose to come to Christ, they must first be made spiritually alive.  They must be born of the Spirit.  No one ever chose to be born physically.  And no one ever chose to be born spiritually.

 

We are all passive at birth. Life is a gift from God.  We did not choose it.  God chose to give us life.  We didn’t earn it, nor do we deserve it.

 

Christ must take the initiative and raise the sinner from the dead spiritually, just like He took the initiative and raised Lazarus from the dead physically.

 

This is why Jesus told Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews (a member of the Sanhedrin, or what is today called in Israel, the Knesset):

 

Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

 

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

 

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

 

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

 

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

 

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.  John 3:3-8

 

Christ raises from the dead (in trespasses and sins) only those whom God the Father has given to Him in divine election.  This is why, the night before His Crucifixion, in His High Priestly Prayer, we read:

 

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

 

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

 

 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.  John 17:1-3

 

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.  John 17:9

 

Fourth, we learn from our Lord’s raising Lazarus from the dead, that there will be a “Last Day” when God will raise ALL from the dead.

 

The righteous (through faith in Christ) will be resurrected at the beginning of that thousand year “Day” and the wicked at the end of that “Last Day”.  God not only can raise the dead, but He also promises that He will.

 

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

 

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

 

For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

 

And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

 

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

 

And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.  John 5:24-29

 

 

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

 

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

 

And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

 

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

 

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

 

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.  Revelation 20:1-6

 

 

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

 

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  2 Peter 3:7-8

 

As many celebrate the Passover this spring, it is good to keep in mind that Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us on Cross.  And God raised Him from the dead, three days later, on the Lord’s Day.

 

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

 

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

 

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.  John 11:25-27

 

In light of our Lord’s statement, recorded in John 11:25, 26, what is your verdict?  Is Jesus a liar?  Is Jesus a lunatic?  Or is Jesus LORD of all?

 

As for me, He the Resurrection and the Life.

 

He is my Resurrection and my Life.

 

He is YAHWEH—The Great I AM.

 

 

 

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life

George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows Lamb of God.  He and his wife, Christy, have been married 41 years (in 2018).  They have 8 grown children.  You can contact George at support@tulipgems.com

Copyright © 2002 through 2018 by George Theiss