Lent 2016: Day 35

I Am the Resurrection and the Life


Today's Text: John 11:1-44, 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

Text: John 11:1-44, 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

This is part of a 10-day series on the person of Christ in the 2016 Lent study.

It never crossed my mind that I’d never been behind the wheel of the Jeep.

I’d always had Ken, as I called him, the most reliable of brothers who’d plop into the driver’s seat with directions, a new playlist, and extra ChapStick®. “Kait,” as he called me, “up for milkshakes on the way home?” Regardless of our destination, milkshakes were always on the itinerary.

We’d sit in a vacant parking lot sipping cookie dough shakes and cracking inside jokes long into the night, blurring the lines between siblings and best friends. Loud music would shake the seats splattered with paint, an indication of my brother’s latest business venture. He was 20 years old and an entrepreneur, known for pausing my favorite song to write down an idea on a legal pad found in his glove box.

Upon returning to our childhood home where our parents were fast asleep, we’d gently close the Jeep doors and tiptoe in to keep the dog from barking. At the top of the stairs, he would turn to me and whisper, “Thanks for going!”

But one day, tragedy slammed the door on our adventures, replacing them with silence. Ken, my ice cream-slurping, idea-birthing, inside-joking best friend of a brother was gone. I was a passenger without a driver to call me “Kait,” left with nothing but grief and an empty gold Jeep.

I don’t know if Lazarus had nicknames for Mary and Martha or what inside jokes made them giggle, but I bet they felt the same stilled shock of losing their childhood co-keeper. Maybe they’d dreamed about becoming aunts and uncles and promised to keep secrets from mom and dad forever. But sickness had overcome their sweet brother, the tomb slicing their family tree. It wasn’t fair.

Four days later, Jesus arrived (John 11:17). 

Days after losing my own brother, the Jeep’s headlights appeared in the driveway. The stranger at the wheel had driven it back home to us. I remember watching his chapped lips murmur his condolences. My brother’s Jeep was here but he was not, and so its presence meant something very different now; never again would the parked car in the driveway signify a full house.

Martha shared in my sisterly sorrow as she greeted Jesus that day. “Lord, if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died” (John 11:21).

Jesus answered her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).

“Yes, Lord,” she told Him, “I believe You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world” (John 11:27).

My grieving heart admires Martha’s expressed faith, but my sisterly intuition knows she’s still staring into a sibling-shaped void.

Soon after hearing of Jesus’ arrival, Mary expressed the same grief: “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died!” And this time, as Jesus asked where Lazarus was buried, He began to weep.

To Martha, Jesus establishes that He is God.
To Mary, Jesus establishes that He is human. 

He could have asserted His power to Martha and bee-lined to the miracle, but He didn’t. He intentionally walked through the weeping. He entered into the sorrow and the heartbrokenness for His glory and for our gain (John 11:4,14-15).

Jesus enters the grief of humanity to show us the only way out—Himself.

When I moved to a new city, the gold Jeep came with me. The signature paint splatters became permanent and the scribbled legal pads never moved. Now I sit in the driver’s seat. I fit my hands into the grooves left by my brother’s grip, and sink into the memories as I place my foot on the gas.

Now I realize that Jesus does the same thing: He places Himself in our pain, so that we, His grieving sisters, might grieve no more (Romans 8:17). He gave up His life to bookend our sorrow between who He is and why He came—to rescue our souls and make us adopted kin of the Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

He is the resurrection and the life.
He came to swallow up death in victory.
He died and rose again so that we might live.

Thanks be to God.


  • Elizabeth

    so beautiful…thank you ❤

  • Needed this message about the resurrection so much – both my mother & father have passed away & left a very painful void. As Christians, we know & believe that the resurrection is real – but it was made even more real to me today by the scripture readings & especially the devotional reading. Thank you so much!

  • Natalie Hager

    Amen and amen, Kait! Tearfully praising God that your brother and you will get to ride his jeep together again!brother and

  • Anastasia

    wow. just wow…in a good way

  • I am blessed to not have had to deal with losing someone very close to my heart, yet, at this point in my life. I can only imagine. Seeing James be diagnosed with cancer is a scary hit-close-to-home moment. When I think of him, I think of Bryan. He’s 36, with a wife and a child, and Bryan is 32. Cancer and sickness always seem so far away until they come close and attack someone we love and can relate to. What if Bryan got cancer in four years? How would that change our lives? How would that change my faith? I’m not saying this will happen, nor do I live in fear of it, but rather, I use it as an eye-opener to be thankful for every day. No matter how young and healthy we are, or how invincible we feel, we are not. I don’t know what causes cancer in a healthy person like James, and I’m sure His family has the same questions, but they do know one thing, that is–God is good. God is our healer, our comforter, the King over our lives, and He is capable of miracles beyond our understanding. I want to know, believe, and grasp this before a tragedy hits my life. I want to live every day with the awareness of how precious our short life on earth is, and how good God is. Because, sooner than I know, I’ll be standing before Him.

  • Kasey Summers

    Love this!! He is our Resurrection! Our Life. Our Rescuer. Our joy. The Only One to whom has the ability to make our cup overflow.

  • Ruth Rosa

    Thank you for sharing your story; so moving, you wrote it very well. Sorry for your loss!
    I’ve read this passage many times but it never connected like it did today:
    To Martha, Jesus establishes that He is God.
    To Mary, Jesus establishes that He is human.
    And also the fact that Jesus, our brother, died and rose from the dead for us. Beautiful! Thank you!

  • This was so touching… right to the heart. Thank you for sharing your story with us, that we might see more of Jesus.

  • Thank you!

  • This was beautiful.

  • My sister-in-law passed away last week at 28 years old. This hit home.

  • “Jesus enters the grief of humanity to show us the only way out-himself”. Kaitlin, I am so sorry for your loss. This piece could not have been more impactful or heartfelt. With everything in me I know he will greet you one day where you will never be parted. Thank you for sharing your incredible beauty and Christ’s love within you. Praise God!

  • Good word sister. The past year of my life has been marked by tragedy and grief. All that you say of Him is true…oh how blessed we are to have a God who enters in to our hardest of times.

  • Thank you so much. My 17 yr. old brother was tragically killed a month ago. Thank you for sharing this and giving me hope.

    • Laura

      I am so sorry for your loss. What a tragedy!! May the God of peace and refuge be with you!

  • Ellen Cole

    Wow, Kaitlin…thank you. My brother passed away last August. He was my only sibling. I’ve had a difficult time finding the words I need to explain this void, but found them today when I read your post. He was my “childhood co-keeper”. We weren’t as young as you, my brother had just turned 59 and I am a few years younger. We had long since lived mostly separate lives. Nonetheless, my parents and my brother are all now gone, so no one who lived in my childhood home and who shared common memories with me is still in this world. It is a great comfort to know that we will be together again in heaven.

  • Kim Headrick

    Praying for you! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Nikki Maddox

    Whoa that was so so good !!!! Thanks be to God that you are the redirection and the life Woooow love this one soooo much!!!!

  • This whole post gave me goosebumps. Thank you for sharing your heart. I’m so sorry for your loss but so grateful you reminded us that Jesus is with us in ours.

  • Sorry ^^^ – I have trouble typing in here with my phone :-P

  • Thank you, Kaitlin, for sharing your sweet big bro with us. Thanks for walking through your grief and being willing to encourage others in grief as well. with us!

  • Wow, I needed this today. I’ve always sort-of wondered about the difference between the sisters’ responses to Jesus’ arrival. I wonder if Martha’s meeting Jesus outside the city and her added response of “God will give you whatever you ask” was some kind of frenetic energy in response to grief. Just keep moving, let’s get this problem solved. I wonder. And I wonder if Mary’s staying at home was a despondent, lethargic kind of grief, maybe with a hint of betrayal at Jesus’ delaying coming to see them. The way she hears he’s coming and stays put. The way she falls at his feet weeping when she finally sees him.

    I can relate to both. Which is why I love so much that Jesus has a response to both. Since my miscarriage, I don’t think anything is quite as comforting as the image of Jesus weeping. Jesus in Gesthemane. Jesus in Bethany. Our tender, compassionate Jesus.

    I weep because I am made in God’s image. I weep because He wept. When I weep, I am becoming more fully human.

    I am so thankful for these glimpses into Jesus’ beautiful humanity. It helps me become a little more comfortable in this perishable skin, until the day that, just like Jesus, I’ll leave behind the perishable for the imperishable. Thanks be to God!

  • Grace Castro

    Sorry about your loss.

  • I don’t typically take time to comment but, oh Kaitlin, how beautiful the words God placed on your heart. For His glory and our gain!

  • So, so beautiful. I am moved beyond words. Especially where it said, “He intentionally walked through the weeping.” I never thought about it being Intentional. I am so overwhelmed by His goodness and Love. Thank you so much for sharing Kaitlin. You blessed me:)

  • This life hurts so much at times. I tell my children it is a ‘get ready’ place for heaven and one day all the pain we feel will have passed like a blink of the eye. I have three babies in heaven to meet from miscarriages .. After the second miscarriage that night I saw a hooded figure by my bed who I knew was Jesus. He held a bundle in his arms and said ‘ this is your Alana Joyce’ …names I had never considered but it’s so precious to know that I will meet those babies one day!

  • Elizabeth

    Such a touching testimony. This devotional was so thought provoking too. Thank you for your authenticity and truth delivery in your devotionals always She Reads Teuth! ❤️

  • Stephanie

    You just can’t know how this ministered to me today. Thank you

  • Kristine

    Kaitlin, this is powerful and authentic and touched me a lot. thankful for Jesus wearing, what an amazing thought :) the verses were great and your personal story helped them hit home. may you feel enveloped in love today!

    • She Reads Truth

      You are so kind, Kristine! What a privilege it is to huddle together in the truth of His Resurrection! Thanks for joining us today!


  • so thankful!

  • Kaitlin, I’m blown away by your vulnerability and honesty today. Thank you for opening up to us in this way and allowing us to know your story. As someone who has also lost a relative very dear to my heart, I know that even years afterward the wound will never heal all the way. But we can take joy from the story of Lazarus – the Lord will RESTORE our souls and rid us of our pain. The sorrow we face on earth in no way compare to the joys we will find in heaven. Praying for you!

    • She Reads Truth

      Katie, thank you. What a sincere joy it is to join together in remembering these truths. I hate that you’ve experienced a similar loss, but rejoice in our shared joy of Christ. Praying for you, sweet friend!


  • One of the best SRT devos I’ve read to date.

    • She Reads Truth

      Grateful for your encouraging heart, Emily! What a privilege it is to read God’s Word together!


  • Thank you for writing this! My brother also is now with the Lord. It happened a few years ago. Afterwards, a different brother mentioned this story to me and asked if I think he could be brought back to life like Lazarus was! At the time I knew he wouldn’t be in human form again but knew he was in heaven. I couldn’t find the words to explain it so I am very thankful to see the words here!

  • “To Martha, Jesus establishes He is God.
    To Mary, Jesus establishes He is human.” I have read and heard this story many times and never picked up on that before. We know Jesus is both God and man, but this is a great example of it that is a little more subtle perhaps. Kaitlin, thank you for this beautiful devotion and for the reminder that even in our deepest grieve and moments of sadness Jesus is with us and is our only way out.

    • churchmouse

      Yes Pam!i had not made that connection either. Love how God speaks to one SRT sister and we all benefit! Thank you, and Kaitlin! Blessed by you both today

  • What a lovely way to put forth this miracle. I always loved reading this passage because it shows Christ coming to our level so that we can be heirs with him. It is a lovely in all of it’s brokenness.

  • Very beautiful. Thank you for sharing. May God continue to be a comfort for you

  • Ladies – I just published my new blog; a christian lifestyle blog about my journey with God. Please check it out athttp://www.savedforsomething.com & like my FB page at http://www.facebook.com/savedforsomething. I would appreciate you sharing it with any friends who you think would enjoy it! My husband & I travel the country for a living, and I’m a foodie, so my posts are always diverse & never boring! Thanks so much for your support! <3 xoxo, Ashley

  • What beautiful picture of our Savior’s heart and love for us! Thank you for this beautiful portrait of John 11!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for joining us, Elle! Blessings to you today!


  • Jesus wept. Mary had come to Jesus. Fallen at His feet. Wondering why, heartbroken with tears of grief streaming. And Jesus wept. Jesus knew that Lazarus would rise. He knew this would happen for God’s glory and so that others might come to believe. And yet, in meeting Mary, He still wept.
    Weeping is deeply felt. It is an expression of overflowing emotion. This story of Lazarus’ death illustrates so beautifully that Jesus was full of compassion and deep love.
    Jesus knew the end of this story. He knows the end of our stories. Yet He meets us still as we walk through them, in our grief and our sorrow and our hurts. The Lord meets us with compassion. With tenderness and sensitivity. Grateful we serve a God who understands our hearts so intimately and personally. Who cares for us and has concern over us. Who loves us relentlessly and with deep compassion.

    Kaitlin, thank you for sharing your story. Praying for you today and sending you a hug, sweet sister. Grateful for your words.

    • She Reads Truth

      Beverly, I’m so grateful for YOUR words! Thankful for a reminder of the importance of weeping, and the truth our stories won’t end that way. Love to you, friend!


    • Laura

      Amen to all of that! Hallelujah!

  • My sister died of colon cancer when she was 12 and I was 14. Minutes before she died, she suddenly sat up in bed and said, “Mommy! I just won a trip!” She said she felt the sun shine upon her body and kept reaching upwards trying to grab something. When my mom couldn’t get down the beautiful “chimes” that my sister saw, she became frustrated. She then exclaimed that the doves just touched her and that she saw Jesus and he was “SO beautiful”. After that, she laid back down and moved on to Heaven. My mom wept. My dad wept. I wept. It’s extremely comforting to think about Jesus also weeping for us and sharing every ounce of our grief, yet rejoicing on the other side, as one more of his children comes home.

    • She Reads Truth

      Wow, Kristin. What a beautiful story. I’m so grateful God gives us these memories to savor in the waiting! Praying for your sister heart today, friend.


  • 10 minutes after reading and there are still tears brimming in my eyes. The vulnerability of sharing your loss, Kaitlin, is overwhelmingly beautiful and I thank you. After reading the included scripture, I was making notes on my response page. I wrote “Jesus wept” and as I continued to read I noted “He was human”. My breath caught as I then read “To Mary He establishes that He is human.”. I thank you Father God for seating your Spirit deep within a new’ish believer. Your voice continues to drown out the doubt and fears. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that you would make yourself so boldly known to one who continually struggles to leave her life in your hands.

    • She Reads Truth


      Thank you, friend. I’m so humbled by the way God uses our stories to remind us of His truth. Grateful for your willingness to share yours today.


  • Rochelle

    Reading your story made me cry a little, Kaitlin. Thank you both for sharing your story, and also for your beautiful words concerning Christ’s love and sorrow. His humanity helps us relate and feel understood, whereas His divinity makes us feel safe and taken care of.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Rochelle! Praying for you today, friend!


  • Kimberly Martinson

    To bookend our sorrow between who he is and why he came.

  • Shauna Pilgreen

    “To Martha Jesus establishes that He is God. To MARY He establishes that He is human.”

  • This hit very close to home today. My only brother passed away this past June, and I have not read this story since then. While Jesus didn’t raise my brother from literal death, He did raise him from eternal death about year prior to his physical death here on earth. For that I am deeply and eternally grateful. He is the resurrection and the life!

    • She Reads Truth

      Melea, I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, had avoided the story of Lazarus until recently because it felt too close to home. When I finally read it, God was so gracious to shelter my sister heart in the truths of the Resurrection. I’m praying the same for you today, friend!


  • Kaitlin, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. Praying for you today.

  • Elizabeth

    He wept.
    He knows grief.
    He is fully human.

    I find it interesting that in some of my darkest moments, when the crying seems uncontrollable and the sadness unbearable, that it is so very difficult to turn to Jesus. Yet I am reminded this morning that He is the only one who can truly understand. He cares and comforts, because he too has wept. It is my prayer today that in the dark moments that are ahead I would not let my self-pity, stubbornness, or grief cloud my soul from reaching out to my Savior.

    • She Reads Truth

      Elizabeth—what you said today really resonated with me. Grief easily clouds our souls, doesn’t it? Praying that we would turn to Him in both the darkness and the light. Grateful for your place in our community!


  • Jenifer Baker

    I father and mother passed away 11 years ago due to cancer. I was 17. I still have her roaster today and every time I cook a meal I am reminded of her.

    What touched me was reading the section:

    “He places Himself in our pain, so that we, His grieving sisters, might grieve no more (Romans 8:17). He gave up His life to bookend our sorrow between who He is and why He came—to rescue our souls and make us adopted kin of the Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).”

    My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for a while. The process has been very heartbreaking for me because the one thing I feared has been happening: it has being very difficult for me to get pregnant. To be reminded that Christ himself places himself in our pain and is walking with me. He has come to restore my soul and resurrect my spirit.

    • Rochelle

      It is reassuring and warming knowing that He KNOWS. I’m saying a prayer for you right now, Jenifer.

    • She Reads Truth

      Jenifer, I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s funny what little things can deeply remind us of the people we miss, isn’t it? Praying for you and your husband today, asking God to help you see Him in the midst of your pain. Love to you today.


  • churchmouse

    Luke 19: 41 – 44 Jesus here weeps over Jerusalem because they did not recognize Who He was. He enters Jerusalem on the donkey; the crowds’ adulation ringing in His ears. Yet He did not lose sight of those others who still remained in the darkness of unbelief. Sweet sisters, let us pray today for those who need to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Don’t let the sun go down on this day without praying for them. Remember, we were once them.

  • churchmouse

    My mother passed away last October. At her funeral, the contrast of reactions between those in my family who are believers and my sister who is an atheist was Oh so remarkable. And incredibly sad. For us, we felt Jesus walk through our weeping. For my sister, only anger and cynicism. For us, through faith, the assurance that we would see our mother again. For my sister, only a casket in the ground. I pray that my sister would be broken and return to the Faith of her youth so that she might once again know the hope and joy that is possible even in grief. He alone is the Resurrection and the life. I pray she comes back to His loving embrace.

    • Kelly

      Church mouse-praying for your sister today, too. I pray the lord would open her eyes to behold his truth and that he would draw her to himself. Currently praying the same things for my sister ❤️

    • She Reads Truth

      Churchmouse, I’m so sorry for your loss. As I savor the gift of Christ’s presence in my own pain, I also become more acutely aware of those who experience pain without the joy of Christ. I’m joining you in prayer for your sister today, asking God to cover her in His peace and presence and fill her with joy that can only be attributed to Christ.


  • Yesterday my big brother would have been 44 years old. He was taken from us when he was only 35. At his funeral, as my parents were sitting under the canopy at his gravesite I witnessed my dad weeping aloud for the first time in my life. The image of Jesus weeping for Lazarus is a powerful one, just as it was when I saw my dad weeping. It’s Such a shock to the system to see when you think they are the strong ones, the wise ones, the solid ones, the all knowing ones (every little girl thinks these things of her daddy). Martha and Mary went to sort of scold Jesus saying if you had been here, he wouldn’t have died! …and then he wept.. (To Mary) which I am sure kindof shocked her. To see Jesus Christ our Lord weeping? They probably shared a consoling embrace? I don’t know, but that image of Jesus weeping gives me pause to reflect this morning. God Bless sisters!! Xo

    • She Reads Truth

      Elaine, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know those milestones and holidays can be especially painful, so I’m sending sister hugs your way! I love the connection you made between the tears of your father and those of Jesus—I think I’ll be going back to the same image of my own father in a new light. Thankful for you and keeping you in my prayers today.


  • April L.

    I too lost a brother. He was 16 and I was 10. I also know about the empty house feeling. I found one of my brother’s old Luke Skywalker action figure 2 years ago, and he just keeps moving from purse to purse. Helps comfort me, and I know he is still with me. Honestly, I had never thought to read this story the way that you have. Thank you for sharing this new perspective.

    • She Reads Truth

      April, I’m so sorry for the loss of your brother. I love the image of Luke Skywalker in your purse! I’m grateful for the little things that remind us of the brothers we miss deeply. Praying for you today, friend.


  • Kaitlin, thank you for allowing us to share I your grief. I am touched by it and know the sadness.

    • She Reads Truth

      Sooz, thank you for your kind words! Praying that God would meet you in both sadness and joy. Love to you today.


  • Kaitlin, Every word of this beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. “Jesus enters the grief of humanity to show us the only way out … Himself.”

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for your kind words, B! What a joy it is to meet you here each day!


  • candacejo

    To Martha, Jesus establishes that He is God.
    To Mary, Jesus establishes that He is human.

    He intentionally walked through the weeping.

    So powerful! Thank you for such a powerful and personal reminder that “Jesus places Himself in our pain” not because He has to but because He WANTS to.

  • He is the resurrection and the life. He came to swallow up death in victory. He died and rose again that we might live…He rescued our souls and makes us adopted kind of the Redeemer…How can I do anything less in my life that praise and glorify Him. No matter what happens – the good, the not-so-good, the horrendously bad – Jesus died for me. Jesus was resurrected for me. By faith in Him I have eternal life. That alone should be enough. Everything else is just cake.
    “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15: 57.
    Have a blessed day.

  • Alice Carroll

    I needed to hear this today – thank you.

  • Kaitlin, this is beautiful….Thank you for opening another door to your life’s journey …and your heart, and being venerable..it can’t have been easy…Praying God be with you, comforting and wrapping his amazing loving arms around you …He is good, for sure…All praise and glory to Him…

    He gave up His life to bookend our sorrow between who He is and why He came—to rescue our souls and make us adopted kin of the Resurrection …..these words, these right here hit me where I would sit up and take notice..I have always felt something, but could never put my finger on it, when I read the two words describing Jesus reaction when he heard of His dear friendS death….HE WEPT…not a strange reaction at all, we most of us would feel the same at the news of someone close dying, but, if I am right , this is the first time we read in the Word of this from Jesus..HE WEPT…
    The Son of God places Himself in our pain, so that we, His grieving sisters, might grieve no more..
    He is the resurrection, and the life…

    Thanks be to God…


    Sisters, Praying you are all well…every blessing..xxx

    • ~ B ~

      Love! So thankful for a weeping Christ!

    • Rochelle

      I love that, too. Knowing His heart broke for their pain, and maybe even His own human sense of loss…

    • Kam

      Oh yes Tina, He wept, Jesus was human. For the first time I noticed He was deeply moved twice. This really hit home to me how much He too was suffering with them. Thank you everyone for your comments. It’s wonderful to share with all of you. What a beautiful community. Blessings.

    • She Reads Truth

      So grateful for these truths, Tina. God is so good to meet us in our sorrow, isn’t He? Love to you today, friend!


  • It is in these moments of sorrow that we can look back and realize that everything that happens has a purpose. At the time we won’t understand … but in the future we will see God’s Purpose … and until we see His Reasons, we can rest that our Heavenly Father Knows Best. ♡

  • “He entered into the sorrow and the heartbrokenness for His glory and for our gain”

    These words spoke to me so much. When Jesus was “deeply moved” during the reading, it made me realize in a new light how human God made Himself; as in, how willing He is to immerse Himself into our pain to try to show how much He understands. It’s humbling to know that despite His perfection, His omniscience, His unfathomable power, He still wants His broken creation to love Him. He loves us as His children, despite our sins, mistakes, and inescapable brokenness. He’s still here with us. Suffering with us, becoming overjoyed with us; celebrating as more sheep come through the gate to our True Shepherd.

Further Reading...