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078 The Resurrection and the Life

‘I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live’  John 11:25

Key Verse:

“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die”  (John 11:26)

(John 11,12)

At this point in our study in the holy Gospel, we have seen that the Messiah, Jesus, has many names. These names help us to know who He is. We have already seen that Jesus was called: the Word which was with God in the beginning, the Son of the Most High, the Son of Man, the Lamb of God, the Savior, the Bread that gives life, the Light of the World, the Lord of Glory, the Gate of the Sheep pen, and the Good Shepherd. We will see two additional names of Jesus: they are:

the Resurrection”

and

“the Life.”

We have seen how Jesus travelled throughout the land of the Jews, teaching, doing good, healing the sick, the lame, the blind and the demon-possessed. A great crowd followed Him. However, the religious “experts,” known as the Pharisees, were extremely jealous of Jesus. They could not deny the wisdom with which He spoke, nor could they deny the miracles which He did.

We plan to continue in the Gospel. We will see how Jesus performed another super-natural wonder that revealed

the glory of God in Him,

so that people might believe in Him. The Scripture says: (John 11:1-44) “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister, Martha. (It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick). Therefore, his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but

for the glory of God,

that the Son of God might be glorified by it. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he heard, therefore, that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. (Jesus knew that Lazarus would die. But Jesus planned to use the death of Lazarus to show the power of God which dwelt in Him, so that people would know that He came from heaven.) Then, after that, saith he to his disciples,

Let us go into Judea again.

His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou there again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because

he seeth the light of this world.

But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. These things said he; and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go,

that I may wake him out of sleep.

Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. However, Jesus spoke of his death; but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly,

Lazarus is dead.

And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless, let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, who is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now

Bethany was near unto Jerusalem,

about 3 kilometres off. And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him; but Mary sat in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus,

Lord, if thou hadst been here,

my brother had not died. But I know that even now, whatever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it to thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha said unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her,

I am the resurrection, and the life,

he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet he shall live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord; I believe that thou art Christ, the son of God, who should come into the world. And when she had said so, she went her way, and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying,

The Master is come, and calleth for thee.

As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews then, who were with her in the house and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then, when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him,

she fell down at his feet,

saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus, therefore, saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

Jesus wept.

Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said,

Take away the stone.

Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh; for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, if thou wouldest believe,

thou shouldest see the glory of God?

Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always; but, because of the people who stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he had thus spoken, he cried with a loud voice,

Lazarus, come forth.

And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes; and his face was bound about with a cloth. Jesus saith unto them,

Loose him, and let him go.”

Before finishing this amazing story, it would be good for us to think a little about this mighty miracle Jesus did. From the creation of the world to today, nobody ever heard of anyone who could give life to a corpse that had already been

four days

in the tomb; a corpse that had begun to decay and stink. However, that is exactly what Jesus did when He raised Lazarus from the dead.

The power of death was not a problem for the Lord Jesus, because He is the Word of God;

the very Life of God,

who came from heaven. As God has life in Himself, so the Messiah has life in Himself. And as God can resurrect dead bodies and give them life, so also the Messiah can give life to whomever He wants, because He Himself is

the Source of Life.

That is why, when Jesus called Lazarus to come forth, the corpse came back to life, arose and came out of the tomb. That is also why Jesus could say to Lazarus’ sister, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead,

yet will he live”

Now let us finish the story and find out what the Jews did after they saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the grave. The Scripture says: (John 11:45-12:11) “Then many of the Jews who came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests a council, and said, What do we? For

this man doeth many miracles.

If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him; and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us that

one man should die for the people,

and that the whole nation perish not. And this spoke he not of himself; but, being high priest that year, he prophesied that

Jesus should die for that nation;

and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together to put him to death. Jesus, therefore, walked no more openly among the Jews, but went from there unto a country near to the wilderness,

into a city called Ephraim,

and there continued with his disciples. And the Jews’ Passover was near at hand; and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.

Then sought they for Jesus,

and spoke among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment that, if any man knew where he were, he should show it, that they might take him.

Then Jesus,

six days before the Passover,

came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper, and Martha served; but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard,

very costly,

and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but

because he was a thief,

and had the bag, and bore what was put in it. Then said Jesus, Let her alone; for the day of my burial hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you, but me ye have not always. Many people of the Jews, therefore, knew that he was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only but

that they might see Lazarus also,

whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death, because, by reason of him, many of the Jews went away,

and believed on Jesus”.

Before we conclude, there is something we must consider. Did you see how the religious rulers reacted to the miraculous sign which Jesus showed them? None of them dared to deny the miracle Jesus did, because

everyone could see for themselves

the man who had been raised from the dead! But what did the High Priest and the other priests do? Did they repent of their sins and believe that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Most High, who came from heaven?

No, they did not repent!

All the miraculous signs which Jesus performed did not cause the priests and their disciples to repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

What did the High Priests do then?

They hated Jesus even more and conspired together to devise a plan to kill Him! They also planned to kill Lazarus whom Jesus had just raised from the dead, because he was the reason that many Jews were turning away from the priests and following Jesus. How insincere and far from God were the hearts of those religious rulers!

They did not love God or the truth.

They ignored the obvious proofs (the many miracles) which Jesus had done before them. All they thought about was their own pleasure, their own position, their own advantage, and making money. Thus,

they conspired together to kill Jesus,

because they were afraid that if they allowed Him to continue, all the Jews would turn away from them and follow Jesus.

What do you think about those religious rulers? Who put the idea in their minds to kill Jesus?

Satan was guiding them,

because he hates God and His Messiah. Satan thought that if the Jewish leaders put Jesus to death, God’s plan to save the children of Adam from his power would fail. What Satan did not realise was that God planned to use the death of the Messiah

to deliver the children of Adam from Satan’s power!

Also, Satan and those who went along with him did not realise that the power of death could not hold the Lord Jesus. The earth could not decompose Him, because

Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life.

That is why Jesus could say to the sister of Lazarus, 

I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live … believest thou this?” (John 11:25,26)

In the next lesson we will continue in the Gospel and see how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey, thus fulfilling what God’s prophets had written long beforehand concerning the Messiah.

God bless you as you think of the meaning of these words from Jesus the Messiah: 

“I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live … believest thou this?” (John 11:25,26)

We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have