“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?” John 11:25f. (Read all of John 11.)
If only Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died! So thought both Martha and Mary, Lazarus’ sisters (John 11:21, 32). We too may have had similar thoughts when we have lost a loved one to death — if only Jesus would have been here!
Yet Lazarus’ death was for the glory of Jesus Christ, God the Son in human flesh (John 11:4). Jesus was going to raise him up from the dead. When those who have trusted in Christ are raised up again on the Last Day and given everlasting life in heaven, this too will bring glory to God the Son; for without His innocent sufferings and death in our stead and His glorious resurrection, we would only rise to the eternal torments of hell!
When Jesus told Martha that her brother would rise again, she said, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:23,24). It is then that Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25-26).
Jesus was telling Martha that, not only would her brother rise again on the Last Day, but He (Jesus) is “the resurrection and the life”! Jesus is the One who will raise up all the dead on the Last Day, and Jesus is the one who gives life. He breathed life into Adam’s breathless body at creation (Genesis 2:7); He breathes spiritual life into us today (John 1:4; 5:21,24-26; 10:10); and He will raise up all the dead on the Last Day and give eternal life to all who have believed on Him (John 5:27-29)!
And so it is that the one who trusts in Jesus as his Savior, even if he dies, shall live again; for Jesus, the resurrection and the life, will raise him up at the Last Day. And whoever lives and trusts in Jesus shall in no way ever die [Greek double negative], forever and ever into eternity; for even when the believer’s body dies, his or her soul goes to be with the Lord Jesus in heaven (Phil. 1:21-23; 2 Cor. 5:1-9; Rev. 7:9-17). Then on the Last Day, when Jesus returns and raises up the dead, the bodies of believers will be raised up and reunited with their souls, and they will live forever with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15)!
Do you believe this? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that it is He who will raise the dead and give everlasting life to all who believe on Him? Consider the evidence. Not only did He heal the sick and open the eyes of the blind, He raised the dead. When Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus who had been dead four days, He said “Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43); and Lazarus walked from the tomb alive! Not only this, but after His own death upon the cross for our sins, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day in victory that we might be assured of forgiveness and everlasting life in His name!
O dearest Jesus, grant us faith to trust in You as our Savior and hold fast to You, even in death, that we might be raised up on the Last Day, at the sound of Your voice, unto life everlasting and to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.
[Scripture from the King James Version of the Bible.]