Day 9

I Am the Resurrection and the Life

from the I Am: Statements of Our Savior reading plan

John 11:1-44, Isaiah 26:19, Ezekiel 37:1-14

BY Bailey Gillespie

This past summer, I attended the SING! Conference, hosted by Keith and Kristyn Getty. While there, I heard Joni Eareckson Tada cast a vision for what the resurrection must mean for the physically and mentally disabled. She shared how the first thing she hoped to do in heaven after regaining the use of her legs was to kneel before God. This was because, growing up in church traditions that made space for confessional kneeling, she was not able to participate in this part of the liturgy, although her confidence in God’s goodness was obvious. I believe the resurrection, which means a literal “raising up,” has a secondary layer of beauty for those who cannot raise themselves physically now.

When Martha confesses belief that her brother Lazarus will rise again on the last day, Jesus tells her that He is “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Although Martha already believed in the coming resurrection, she didn’t appear to fully understand that Christ Himself was the embodiment of it. I imagine this is why Jesus explains how those who believe in Him will live on even after death and asks her: “Do you believe this?” (v.26).

The idea of Jesus raising her brother from the dead that day was almost too good to be true for Martha. It was a big ask. Her cheeks still wet with tears of grief, she knew that she would see her brother again, but it felt like hoping against hope that Jesus would revive his breath when so many others didn’t get that privilege. Four days in, surely Lazarus was gone (v.17).

To Martha, the resurrection at the end of history was a detached concept. It provided her with hope, but only a futuristic hope that barely touched her present grief. Jesus surprised her by bringing her brother back to life with the simple command of “Lazarus, come out!” (v.44).

One of my best friends told me once that “Truth is a Man.” It’s always stuck with me. Although, for some, Christianity may just be a system of strung together theological concepts (our human attempt to understand God), the center of the gospel is the person of Jesus Christ—who has skin and bones. Our whole faith history, before and after the incarnation, must now be interpreted through that earth-shattering event. This Man, who is also fully God, has the power to resurrect all things—our physical bodies and hearts and even the empty places that don’t have a name.

Whether, like Joni Earechson Tada, you’re one of the walking wounded who feel stuck or held back by physical and mental disadvantages, or you simply feel the toll of being human, the hope of the resurrection is that it is here, now—because He is here, now. Because Christ is in us, the same Spirit’s power that raised Him from the dead is in us, too (Romans 8:11). What a crazy and humbling thought that is.

Post Comments (41)

41 thoughts on "I Am the Resurrection and the Life"

  1. Rachel Resetz says:

    I’m in awestruck of how God always brings what we need back to the front of our minds and hearts. The simple “Do you believe this” in John 11:26

    It brings me back to my drive home listening to Jesus Culture sobbing at the simple but powerful phrase “ I believe in you, I believe in you, I believe in you, your the god of miracles.” As an adult faith doesn’t come as easy as when you were a child. We are far more logical as we grow up, the human nature demands explanations to the whys in life that can’t always be answered.

    When I read that “Do you believe this?” I’m reminded of the little boy in Polar Express ringing that bell over and over desperately saying I believe until he say Santa. From that moment on, he believed in the magic the rest of his life. I feel like that is what Jesus wants of us is to take that leap of faith and believe effortlessly like a child believe in Santa in him. To stop holding onto the need to understand everything and just trust in him to bring us to life in ways we didn’t even know we needed.

  2. Samantha Martin says:

    This is so encouraging. I had never read the Ezekiel passage before but I’ve heard people refer to it countless times. I’m around a lot of people who don’t know Jesus and it’s heart breaking. Lord, bring the dry bones on campuses across the world back to life. Breath into their lifeless lungs as you open their hearts to who you are. Take out their hearts if stone. I also ask that you do this for my family Lord. Renew them and give them life here and now so they may know you and be resurrected in the time to come. Use me in their lives however you will and bind my heart to yours so I may be faithful until the resurrection by your grace alone. Amen

  3. Amber Trimble says:

    Thank you Lord for being my resurrection and life.

  4. Cynthia Ramain says:

    Audrey, very well said and so very true!!! Thank you for your words and honesty in all of your posts. I’m so glad to be a SRT sister of yours❤️

  5. Audrey Flores says:

    This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I know in 11:4 Jesus is saying Lazarus coming back to life will lead to His crucifixion. I am amazed that God used Lazarus as an example of His love for each and everyone of us. Lazarus isn’t just Lazarus… Lazarus can be anyone of us. We all have an illness that either has killed us or is close to killing us. It can be physical/ emotional illness or a major sin, like pride, that ends in death of spirit. Jesus died in the cross because the one He loves is sick. That is each of us!! He feels our pain and weeps for us like He did for the family. He may not awaken us in a timeframe we want. It may be four days/ months/ years/ decades when we stink before we are called to come out. But in the end we must trust He knows what will bring Him the most glory and us the most healing. Seeing God do this for many people from Lazarus to Paul and then to think and do it for me? Jesus loves me so much that after years of being spiritually dead in the tomb of stinking from the rot of sin, pain, and suffering. He found my tomb, removed the stone, and called me out by name to come out and live again. Thank you Jesus for saving me. I love you so much. May I continue to praise your name and bring YOU glory!!

    1. Dennette McIntyre says:

      I needed to hear this tonight. I’m very new to the love of Jesus and believing and I grapple with blind faith over and over. But your post… this made sense! Thank you!

  6. Mimi says:

    What a beautiful story Patty! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  7. Juliet Dwyer says:

    I was struck by “ the truth is a man” and I’m Turning that into “my truth is a man flesh and blood Jesus “.

  8. Patty S says:

    Two thoughts…the lyrics from Jeremy Camp’s “Same Power” immediately came to mind reading today’s commentary:

    The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
    The same power that commands the dead to wake
    Lives in us, lives in us
    The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
    The same power that can calm a raging sea
    Lives in us, lives in us
    He lives in us, lives in us

    Also, I’m a retired Special Ed teacher. I’ve worked with adults with developmental disabilities. My brother-in-law had developmental challenges also. I look forward to that day when I am blessed to see my former students whole and healed. I lost a student some years ago, a charming 7 year old Downs child with red hair and a smile that lit up a room. Ryan succumbed to pneumonia. God blessed me that day at the funeral home when He gave me a glimpse into glory…Ryan’s adult cousin was in attendance…the grown-up version of Ryan complete with red hair and smile, perfect in every way!! A brief vision of how Ryan is now, not how I saw him that day. Not as he was in my classroom.

    He is the Resurrection and the Life, then, now, here and forever! Praise the Holy Name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus!

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