Get your Daily Encouragement with the Jesus Minute
Continuing with another one of Jesus’ “I AM’s”, one of the most powerful of all has to do with the story of Jesus’ close friend, Lazarus. Jesus was probably in Jerash, a couple of days from Jerusalem, when he heard the news that his friend Lazarus had died. Jesus didn’t quickly go to Jerusalem, but seemed to wait awhile before starting out. This hesitation even concerned his disciples, but Jesus took his time. The theory is that Jesus waited on purpose to set up one of the most amazing miracles ever. The longer he waited the longer Lazarus’ body had to decompose.
Think about it! If Jesus was there right at the death of Lazarus and raised Lazarus from the dead, people could easily have said that Lazarus wasn’t really dead. But after four days, there was no doubt that Lazarus was dead-really dead!
When Jesus did show up, Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, greeted Jesus with the same exasperation. They each believed that if Jesus had only been there, Lazarus wouldn’t have died. The account is in the eleventh chapter of John: Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of 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; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:21-26)
NOTE Jesus brought up the possibility of resurrection and Martha quickly thought Jesus was referring to the belief of an end-time resurrection. But Jesus wasn’t talking about doctrines or a set of beliefs; he was referring to Himself: “I am the resurrection and the life.”Jesus was doing what Jesus does best. He made it up close and personal.
When Jesus embraced resurrection personally, he moved himself into a whole new position. Jesus is the most powerful teacher of life’s principles and in this situation he moved from teacher to the most impressive miracle-worker of all time! In addition, Jesus isn’t resurrecting Lazarus from the dead for some kind of show; he’s bringing one of his best friends back to life!
This brings us to SECRET #43: The follower of Jesus relates to his Master as the resurrection and the life. Tomorrow, we’ll catch Jesus in the very act of resurrecting Lazarus from the dead, after he was really dead. You’ll see what I mean!