“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”
(John 11:25-26 NIV)
John chapter 11 portrays Jesus as having power over death. My entire life changed when my beloved father passed away 23 years ago. Incredible grief consumed me. I remember the therapist suggesting visiting my father’s grave so I could find comfort and accept that he was gone forever.
Unfortunately, that didn’t help at all. Visiting my father’s grave only confirmed the fact that he was dead and I would never see him again. The emptiness in my heart from losing my father has taken many years to heal. Today, the Lord reminded me of John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”
I paused and reflected on this passage. Lord, help me understand what you are trying to teach me through this passage. How many times have I read this passage since I became a Christian? Like Martha, I knew that one day we would be resurrected on the last day.
But what did Jesus exactly mean when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” And then when He asked Martha to show him where Lazarus was buried. Martha responded, “By this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” (John 11:39 NIV)
This is where I came to the realization that before the Lord Jesus came, we were all dead and buried due to our transgressions. We didn’t need someone to fix us; we needed someone to die for us and raise us, just like he did for Lazarus. Jesus didn’t want to abandon us in the grave, where we would rot from the inside out. So what did He do? He came, died for us, and called us out from the grave.
After the fall, God speaks to the Serpent (Satan), “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Gen. 3:15 NIV)
With His foot planted on Satan’s head, Jesus loudly said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26 NIV)
Beloved, we were once dead, but now we are alive because of Jesus’ sacrifice. The Apostle Paul said, “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgression- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians. 2:4-6 NIV)
So, while my father’s physical body may be dead, he is still alive in Christ. He was made alive with Christ when he accepted Jesus as his Savior.
I no longer visit my father’s grave and mourn his death. Instead, I celebrate the fact that he is alive in Christ, and I will one day see him again.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your mercy and grace. Thank you for overcoming death and rescuing me and my loved ones from the end. I was once dead in my transgressions, but because of your love and grace, I am now alive, and one day, I will return to you and live with you for all eternity. I love you, Lord Jesus.
The Lucado Encouraging Word Holy Bible New International Version (2020. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson