This post should have been done over the Easter Week, when we celebrate Jesus Christ’s death, and especially, His resurrection.
In John Chapter 11, Jesus’ good friend Lazarus had died and was rotting in the grave for the past 4 days. Strangely, Jesus hadn’t immediately responded to the call for help when his friend was sick.
Jesus was actually making an extremely important point.
When his sister, Martha came to Jesus, grieving, she virtually said: “Lord, why didn’t you get here sooner? He’s dead because you delayed in coming!”
But Jesus merely said: “Your brother will rise from the dead.”
Her reply: “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
But Martha misunderstood what He was really saying.
She was a devout Jewish woman who was quite orthodox in her beliefs.
Like many of us, she fell back on the familiar to explain the situation.
She thought that Jesus was saying: “Oh well! Take comfort in seeing your brother again in the sweet by-and-by-when-you-die.”
But Jesus said something really amazing, totally radical!
Jesus said … “I AM the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies.”
Notice that Jesus didn’t say: “Let me tell you some interesting facts about resurrection and about the life.”
Nor did He say: “Follow Me, and I’ll teach you some good principles about the resurrection and the life.”
Resurrection is not some mindless process that clicks in as a robotic reaction to us believing in a certain theology by the time we die.
No, He said “I AM….”
It’s all about Him.
He has the power of life and death at His fingertips, and it’s one of the ways in which He expresses Himself to us as we get to know Him more and more.
In the same way, heaven is not merely being in a better place, it’s being with HIM.
In fact, it wasn’t a mechanical process for Jesus, either. He wept over it.
He was his friend after all, and he was moved by his sisters’ grief.
But above all, He demonstrated the Resurrection side of Him, by raising Lazarus from the dead.
But, more than that – He demonstrated it with His own resurrection a little later!
Yet many of the things that Jesus did were metaphors.
They represent principles and powerful spiritual dynamics that go deeper than we can see with natural eyes. His acts and miracles were merely the tip of the iceberg.
This act of raising Lazarus, His own resurrection and His claim to BE the Resurrection and the Life, is one of these spiritual dynamics Jesus wanted to explain and demonstrate.
We call it “Resurrection Life”.
To know Jesus is to experience this.
With a deepening and more intimate walk with Jesus, we can see this exciting dynamic affecting our whole lives. And it will go on into Eternity!
Jesus referred to Resurrection Life in different ways.
For instance, He made this comment in John 12:24.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”
It’s amazing if you think about it.
Especially as a kid, before I knew anything of agricultural practice.
A nice, plump grain of wheat could contribute to my next hamburger or cake – and the farmer put this one aside, just to throw into the ground??
But a few months later, it had sprouted into a beautiful and highly complex organism – far more spectacular than that simple, slightly wrinkled grain that it once was.
Furthermore, it eventually grew a whole bunch of wheat seeds.
I realized then that it’s worth sacrificing the hamburger after all.
It had such powerful potential packed away in such a tiny shell.
Our human body will do the same thing.
If we have that relationship to the Lord of Life, the Source of Life, and Who personifies Resurrection, death is only a small part of the process.
Certainly, there’s a bit of a painful wait for those who are still alive, but the resurrected Christ-follower will be…. Well, how can I describe them, the scriptures say we will be like Him – physically at least.
Use your own superlatives. I’ve run out of mine!
Yet even that is only part of the story.
Resurrection Life reaches into everything we do.
More on that next time.