As the story of Lazarus and his sisters continues in John 11:20-37. Jesus makes a bold declaration as he speaks to Martha.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”John 11:25-26
The Resurrection and the Life
What did Jesus mean when he said he was the “resurrection and the life”? Scripture teaches that there would be a resurrection of the dead. So when Jesus first told Martha that Lazarus would rise again, she responded, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day” (vs. 24).
This dialogue between Martha and Jesus reminds me of when someone is in grief over the death of a loved one and another person tries to comfort them by saying, “You’ll see them again in heaven one day.” I wonder if that’s how Martha felt in this moment so she responded, “I know…”?
However, Jesus was not offering a generic condolence to make her feel better. He was trying to reveal powerful truth to her. The Jewish people were waiting for the last day when the dead would be resurrected, but Jesus is letting her know that he is the resurrection. He is trying to tell her that it is through him that all will be resurrected because he is the one who will soon conquer death through his crucifixion, and it is through him that we have life, both physically and spiritually.
As the resurrection and the life, through Christ, we are also given eternal life. We may physically die, but we will spend eternity alive with God.
Charles Spurgeon is better than I am at explaining the meaning of Jesus’ words. He explains, “Those that believe in Jesus Christ appear to die, but yet they live. They are not in the grave, they are forever with the Lord. They are not unconscious they are with their Lord in Paradise. Death cannot kill a believer, it can only usher him into a freer form of life.”
After Jesus told Martha that he is the resurrection and the life and our source of eternal life, he asks her an important question: “Do you believe this?”
And that’s the question I want to leave you with. Jesus declared that he not only has the power to resurrect the dead but that he is the resurrection and the life. He also declared that those who believe in him will have eternal life. Those are bold declarations that are either true or the words of a crazy person.
Do you believe Jesus is who he says he is?