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The Resurrection and The Life

April 11, 2012

Moments of truth…we all have them.  They’re those little points along the road of life that are simply unmistakable.  They’re the points that we come to that don’t give way.  They don’t budge…they can’t be manipulated…and they can’t be spun in a way that they fit neatly and orderly into the structure of our present reality.  Moments of truth transcend the moment…spill over into reality…and things are never the same.

I hope you’ll take a moment…maybe this moment…and read through John 11:17-26.

Just before this passage, we’re told that a man named Lazarus of Bethany was very ill.  Jesus had a connection to this man through Mary (who wiped His feet with her hair) and her sister Martha.  Jesus stayed where He was for a couple of days and then headed toward Bethany because He cared for this family.  On the way there, it is made clear that Lazarus had died.  Now listen…there is no greater moment of truth than the moment of death.  It is definite, it is unavoidable, and it is universal.  We will all meet that moment at some moment.

Once Jesus gets to the town of Bethany, it’s revealed that Lazarus has been in the tomb for four days.  There is a crowd there mourning…they’d come over from Jerusalem.  In verse 21, Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  Now, this isn’t meant to be a compliment.  Martha is not taking a moment to offer praise to the One she calls Lord.  It’s more of an indictment.  She’s throwing some guilt His way.  It’s a “you could have stopped this…but you didn’t” type of thing.  But Jesus says, and I imagine with a bit of unexpected joy in His voice, “Your brother will rise again.”  Martha’s thinking one thing…Jesus has plans for another.

And here comes the moment of truth.  No…it’s not when the stone is rolled away.  It’s not when Lazarus is called out from the tomb.  It’s not even when Lazarus actually emerges from the tomb…though that is a tremendous moment, in and of itself.  The moment of truth is when Jesus says these words, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”  This, like the other “I am” statements is a pronouncement.  It’s not an arrogant claim…it’ a truth claim.  Notice what Jesus says next in verse 26, “And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die…do you believe this?”  This is an insane question for anyone to ask.  If you don’t get that, please consider the context.  Lazarus is dead.  He’s not living at the moment.  And Jesus just asked Martha if she believed that those who believe in Him won’t die.  Lazarus is dead…in the tomb…decomposing.  In this moment of truth, before the miracle takes place, Jesus is asking Martha if she trusts Him.

If you don’t know how the story ends; Lazarus comes walking out of the tomb.  Not on his own…he’s beckoned into life by Jesus…commanded to live again.  In a very real sense, this is the same thing that you and I are offered in Jesus Christ.  Paul, writing to the church at Ephesus says in verse 2:1that, “you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked.”  Later in verse 5 he says, “even when we were dead in our trespasses, (God) made us alive together with Christ.”  Further still, he says in verses 8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  We were dead.  Did you catch that?  It’s important.  We were dead…you were dead…I was dead.  Dead people don’t do anything…don’t save anything.

Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  This past Sunday was Easter.  On that day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  That moment of truth has transcended all of history.  That moment, above every other moment, truth was told.  It’s unavoidable…it’s unmistakable.  And in Him, and Him alone, we are made alive…transformed from death to life…to the praise of His glorious grace.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2012 4:52 pm

    Great blog man. I’m always impressed with you work bro! See you in class.

  2. April 13, 2012 4:54 pm

    Great words bro! I’m always impressed with your work. See you in class.

    • April 13, 2012 10:32 pm

      Thanks Curt. Most appreciated.

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