Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Lent Day 33 — I am the resurrection and the life

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[17] Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. [18] Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, [19] and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. [20] So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. [21] Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. [22] But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” [23] Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” [24] Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” [25] Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, [26] and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” [27] She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (John 11:17-27 ESV)

After two dusty days of walking, Jesus and the disciples finally arrive at Bethany only to find that Lazarus had been dead for four days. Sisters Mary and Martha responded differently. Mary was lost in her grief, convinced it was now far too late for anything to be done about Lazarus. Martha still had a germ of hope, and she met Jesus as he arrived. The disciples must have wondered what would happen now.

Martha’s faith in Jesus was still alive enough to tell Jesus that even though Lazarus was gone, perhaps, just perhaps, Jesus could restore their brother to them. She asked in faith.

Jesus lovingly told Martha that Lazarus, her brother, will rise again. The only way the grieving Martha could make sense of “rise again” was to think of the resurrection on Judgment Day.

” [25] Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, [26] and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Martha wasn’t sure about that, but she was sure that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God. She was unable to parse the nuances of Jesus as the resurrection and the life, but she knew what she did believe. I think Martha passed the test.

The grieving Martha taught me a lesson. If Jesus were to ask me, “Do you believe this?” I would do well to simply confess that Jesus is my Lord and Savior and leave it at that. Maybe some day I will fully understand all of what Jesus as the resurrection and the life means for me.

Dave

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