“Jesus said unto her, ‘I Am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this’?”
Of all of His sayings, none are more powerful than this.
“I Am the Resurrection and the Life.”
The Incarnation—the “Word made flesh” (Jn. 1:1, 14). A mystery, but not life-changing. The Virgin birth—incomprehensible, but not life-changing. His sinless life—remarkable, but not life-changing. His Substitutionary Atonement on the Cross—that which frees us from the “Curse of the Law” (Gal. 3:10-13), but not life-changing.
But, Jesus’ words to Martha that day. . .on His way to raise Lazarus from the dead. . .were radical. Never-heard-before radical. Way-over-my-head radical.
Yet, later—after His Resurrection—she’d understand them.
And, she’d never be the same again.
Martha was just like us.
Although not everyone is a perfectionistic, compulsive, type A, driven workaholic like Martha, we’re all just like her in the sense of initially failing to grasp the true meaning of Jesus’ claim to be “the Resurrection and the Life.”
She believed in His Power—for Lazarus wouldn’t have died if Jesus had been present (v.21); she’d just forgotten He was able to heal from a distance (Mt. 8:5-13).
Likewise, she believed in a general resurrection of the dead in the future (vv.23-24); she just didn’t believe in a present tense one or in Jesus’ ability to raise Lazarus from the dead after four days (vv.17, 39).
Why is that?
Simply because they believed anyone could be resurrected during the first three days, but after that all bets were off. Thus, her theology was preventing her doxology. And, sadly, men’s doctrines and dry orthodoxy still do the same today.
No, Martha just didn’t get it.
Just as we so often still don’t get it.
But, once we begin to catch a glimpse of Jesus’ claim to be “The Great I Am” and “The Resurrection and the Life,” we can never be the same again.
Dear Pilgrim, why not spend some time today “chewing the cud” on today’s Manna? Savor every spiritual morsel of these words and what impact Jesus’ being those things can have on your life.
Repeat them aloud as you drive to work. Whisper them quietly as you work, especially when the pressure’s on and the deadlines are drawing near. Reflect on them as you lie down for the night and say your evening prayers. And, soon you’ll see that you can never be the same and need never approach things the same when Jesus is “The Resurrection and the Life.”
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated January 16, 2010