Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  (John 11:25-26)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” -Revelation 1:8

God has firmly established a plan of grace for all mankind which both begins and ends with Jesus. Jesus’ first two words in our verses for today–“I am”–are indicative of deity meaning: “I myself am He who is.” Our all-powerful Savior is mighty to save. Here He lovingly corrects Martha’s feeble faith by setting before her this high and exalted description of Himself.

He needs no help. He possesses all capabilities. He is the all-sufficient One. He was and is not merely a human teacher, He was and is the divine author and perfecter of our faith. He is the answer to man’s dire dilemma of sin and death.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” -Revelation 1:17-18

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)

I wonder, like Martha, do we place Jesus just a little above our own levels? Do we think of Him as merely a man without the all-achieving power to aid and comfort and encourage and heal and save us?

For believers in Jesus, the Lord has broken the bondage of sin, enabling us to no longer be held captive to its control. He lovingly cares for us, satisfying us in a sun-drenched land. Yet, like the Israelites, when we become satisfied, we often become proud, forgetting the one who delivered us. We fall into the pattern of seeking to be our own savior–taking things in our own hands–living life apart from His power when it is so readily ours for the asking.

Hosea puts it this way:

“I am that high and holy One who by taking man’s nature upon Me, have ennobled his body, and made its resurrection possible. I am the great First Cause and Procurer of man’s resurrection, the Conqueror of death, and the Saviour of the body. I am the great Spring and Source of all life, and whatever life any one has, eternal, spiritual, physical, is all owing to Me. All that are raised from the grave will be raised by Me. All that are spiritually quickened are quickened by Me. Separate from Me there is no life at all. Death came by Adam: life comes by Me.” -Chrysostom

“But I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me. I cared for you in the desert, in the land of burning heat. When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.
(Hosea 13:4-6)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

This we can be assured of: No prophet or Apostle spoke such as this. Only the one who knew He was God could proclaim these words and subsequently provide proof for His claim. In a wondrous, loving act of God toward all mankind–when mankind had a right to expect nothing but was given everything–Jesus bled and died for our sins and was raised again.

Take It to Heart

“On Calvary, the One from whom you and I have a right to expect nothing because of our disobedience and sin, nevertheless, has given us everything! This is the deep, indefinable grace of the God who loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us, so that if we confess our sins, turn from them and put our faith in Christ we can live with Him forever. This is the mystery of a love that cannot be contained, that we cannot even hope to speak. We are to love our enemies because God loved His enemies–us.” (Michael Card)

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
-1 Corinthians 13:12

“Jesus! What a friend for sinners! Jesus lover of my soul! Friends may fail me, foes assail me; He, my Savior, makes me whole. Hallelujah! What a Savior! Hallelujah! What a Friend! Saving, helping, keeping, loving, He is with me to the end.” (Wilbur Chapman, “Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners”)