The Resurrection and Life (18-07-20)
Bible Reading: John 11:17, 21-26
When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he found that Lazarus had been buried four days before. Martha said to Jesus, "If you had been here, Lord, my brother would not have died! But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask him for." "Your brother will rise to life," Jesus told her. "I know," she replied, "that he will rise to life on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; and those who live and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
I sometimes think we are a nation of gamblers. I don’t mean gambling on the horses, the dogs or the cards, I mean gambling on eternity. I think these gamblers fall into two groups There are those who gamble that there is no God, that death is the end and there is ultimately no accountability beyond the grave. Then there are those who believe that there is some form of higher being, but gamble that they can live as they choose, in the belief that they can blag their way into the hereafter.
Speaking at the death of his friend Lazarus, Jesus says to both of these groups, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die.’ To the one group Jesus says ‘there is life beyond the grave, and you are accountable’ and to the other group he is says, ‘entry into eternal life is by faith in me’.
The raising of Lazarus from the dead is evidence that Jesus has authority over death in this life, but Lazarus was only resuscitated; he died again. The raising of Jesus from the dead shows that he has authority over death for eternity. Unlike Lazarus, Jesus’ body was not resuscitated to die again, Jesus body was resurrected, never to die again, the evidence for which is beyond reasonable doubt. His resurrection body had all the normal physical characteristics of his human body, but without the normal physical restrictions. And he could rise to glory in heaven.
This is the hope that we have as Christians, that we too will rise in the glory of our resurrected bodies; that we will spend eternity in the presence of God and of all those who died believing in Jesus. This is also our message to our nation of gamblers, eternal life based on the resurrection of Jesus is a certainty. Everything else is a gamble.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the promise of eternal life through faith in you. Help me to live all my todays rejoicing in the promise of all my tomorrows.