I am the resurrection.
40 blogs of Lent, day 15
“‘Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes,” – Christopher Bullock, Usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin
Jesus did mention taxes, but not in the I am statemrnts in John’s Gospel so today I am talking about death.
Death is the context here. Jesus’ friend, Lazarus was ill, but Jesus delays coming to see him. By the time Jesus gets there Lazarus has been dead four days.
Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles[c] off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” John 11:17-271
Jesus is not saying that he was a conduit of Gods power to raise the dead, although he raised people on two other recorded occasions, the son of a widow and the daughter of Jairus. Elijah and Elishah had also raised people from the dead in the Old Testament. The apostles Peter and Paul also raised peope from the dead. 2
What Jesus is saying is that he is the resurrection, And claiming to be God. The claim is not that the power of God to raise the dead goes through him, in the same way it had in prophets of the past and would do in apostles. the claim was that he was the power of God over death.
He then demonstrates that power by calling Lazarus, a living Lazarus with rotten flesh healed, out of the grave.
The reaction of people is mixed:
Martha believes Jesus and says he is the Christ, the Messiah, God’s anointed one, eben before Jesus raises her brother from the dead. We do not know if this was before Peter says Jesus is the Christ, as Johns Gospel has no time frame.
Others, scared of the power of Jesus when they heard of this started to make plans to kill Jesus.3
The power of God is divisive. Depending on what is in their hearts people when confronted with God’s power will react one way or the other. There is no space on the fence, you have to come down on one side or the other. Which are you going to do?
1 Bible quotes are from the English Standard Version Anglicised
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
2 Luke 7:11-17, Luke 8:52-56, 1 Kings 17:17-24, 2 Kings 4:18-37, 2 Kings 13: 20-21, Acts 9:6-43, Acts 20:7-12
3 John 11:45-53