John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
With God death means life!
At some point in our lives, each of us will come face to face with death. For some of us a loved one or dear friend will pass away. For others our own mortality will become apparent with the diagnosis of a dread disease or a fatal accident. There is no escaping the reality that living brings; death comes to us all. But with God death means life!
Lazarus was sick – very sick. His sisters were desperately concerned and sent a message to Jesus. The Master was very close to them. They knew He loved their family very much and would want to know about Lazarus. They were confident that He would come to their aid. They had seen Him do many miracles over the years and knew that their only hope for Lazarus’ recovery lay within His power.
Jesus received the sisters’ urgent message, but instead of immediately coming to their aid, He purposefully chose to wait two more days. He knew that this delay would bring about Lazarus’s physical death but still He chose to wait. This does not sound very loving at first glance, but Jesus knew something the sisters did not know: with God death means life!
Through Lazarus’ untimely death:
- Jesus brought a living faith to the family.
Martha told Jesus that she believed in Him, but her faith only went so far. She believed her brother would rise again in the resurrection on the last day, but she failed to understand Jesus’s power to bring him from the grave right then. Jesus did not want to fix the problem by making Lazarus well. He wanted to give him a new life.
- Jesus brought active obedience through this death.
Mary and Martha needed to trust and obey Jesus’s instructions even though they didn’t understand. When He asked them to roll the stone away, they were called upon to act out their belief regardless of their understanding.
- Jesus brought spiritual life-giving belief to the onlookers who saw the resurrection.
Many who were witnesses to this miracle believed in Jesus and received the spiritual eternal life that could only come through Him.
- Jesus brought the finished work of eternal life a step closer as this miracle launched Him towards the cross.
Though many believed in Jesus, there were others whose hatred increased to the point of developing a plan to kill Him. This death was necessary for all who would believe to receive the eternal life that God had promised.
This incredible miracle moved those who believed to a greater capacity for faith in God’s ability to bring life from death. In just a short time they would watch Jesus be led up a hill, nailed to a cross, and die. They wouldn’t understand all that was happening, and would be confused and bewildered. But three days later they would witness Christ’s resurrection from the dead. This amazing act would prove that God truly could bring life from death; and not just physical life, but spiritual life. Because Christ died and rose again, all who believe would be able to live forever.
Jesus told Martha when Lazarus was still cold in the grave, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Death for us is a very sad and lonely experience. The finality of it weighs on our hearts. But for those who believe in Jesus, the Son of God, death always means life.
The death of Christ brought eternal life.
The death of a believing loved one brings eventual reunion.
A believer’s own death brings life with God in heaven for eternity.
Why did Jesus wait two days when Lazarus was so sick? Was it uncaring and unloving? Not at all!
Jesus had much better plans for Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and us.
With God death brings life.