You have to know the scene for the statement to have the correct weightiness. Lazarus died four days earlier. His sisters, Mary and Martha, sent word to Jesus hoping he would come and heal him, but Jesus waited and arrived “late.” I think we can relate to Martha. She’s frustrated and disappointed. She had faith Jesus could have done something about her brother’s illness, but she was frustrated he didn’t. So Martha ran out to meet Jesus on the road.

Listen to what Marth 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.” (John 11:21-23)

You have to put yourself in Martha’s shoes. She had just lost her brother. She was probably there when he passed away – maybe even held his hand as he took his last breath… and Jesus’ response is, “he’ll rise again.” That could be read as almost dismissive or even cold. With that in mind, Martha’s response seems fitting,

Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” (John 11:24)

It’s almost as though Martha is downplaying the resurrection. She’s saying, “yeah, I know he’ll be resurrected someday, but that doesn’t help me TODAY.”

Jesus, wanting to give Martha hope said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25)

Jesus gently corrected Martha’s thinking about that future event of the resurrection. See, many of the Jewish people had hope of resurrection. They believed one day God would put the world to rights. But, Martha was missing a main piece of the puzzle… Jesus. The resurrection the Jewish people had been waiting for and putting hope in, only happens in and through Jesus. To say it another way, there is NO resurrection apart from Jesus. When Jesus walked out of the tomb, he brought us with him.

However, when Jesus claimed to be the resurrection, he was not only stating resurrection happens because of him, he was also claiming resurrection life is about intimacy with him. The only time Jesus ever defined eternal life he said,

And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3)

Jesus is not only the path to resurrection, relationship with him is the point of resurrection. That is the hope Jesus is speaking into Martha’s hurt, and it’s the hope he wants to speak into your hurt today.

I think Jesus would want us to spend some time considering that truth today. He is the point of resurrection. So as you continue to celebrate Easter and the empty grave, spend some time today thinking about the fact that Jesus died and rose so that you could have a relationship with him that would last into eternity.

Ryan Paulson
Lead Pastor

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