I AM: The Resurrection and the Life

I AM Statements of Jesus   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings


Well good morning to you! It is Easter Sunday and I am thankful you are here to worship the risen, exalted, glorified savior with us today! I don’t know about you but I am excited about the Resurrection. It is one of the most special, powerful days in the Christian life that we celebrate where we gather together to worship. There is nothing like it until we join together with the saints of old around the throne of God. The cross is the most scandalous, horrendous method of dying thought of, and Jesus took to that cross so that we might taste the power and resurrection of God. We have come from the empty cross to the empty tomb, and what a joyful time that is to be in the Lord’s house.
What a Lenten season it has been. We have focused on our journey from Ash Wednesday and recognizing these were the last days of Jesus’ life, to the beginning of Holy Week where we joined the multitudes in proclaiming the blessedness of the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Then we joined the disciples in the upper room, where we partook of the Lord’s Supper together as those who have taken the Bread of Life. Friday we fell silent before the cross as we remembered and meditated upon the great price of our redemption found in the flowing blood and agonizing cries from the cross–only to hear “it is finished.” Holy Saturday provided for us a time to sit in that holy silence which echoed from Calvary’s hill as Jesus’ body was taken Friday and placed in the tomb to be guarded that none may enter. Then came the morning as Guy Penrod of the Gaither Vocal Band would sing. Night turned into day. The soldiers fell down in shock and the angel of the Lord appeared only to tell the women that He had risen just as He said! Here we are–Resurrection Sunday!
We have been looking at the I Am statements of Jesus in John’s gospel as we have journeyed this Lenten season. They have provided comfort, challenge, and even conviction at times. We have discovered deep truths that, when applied to our souls, sooth angst and despair. We have seen that Jesus provides for us in a way nothing else in this world can, and that he reveals that provision in these statements of his identity. If you’re hungry, take of the bread of life; if you’re wandering in the darkness, look to the light of the world; if you’re despairing, look to the one who is the way, the truth, and the life; and if you’re sorrowful over sin and death, look to the resurrection and the life.
That is where we pick up today. This is a good story for us any time, but especially on Resurrection Sunday. We join a family, specifically Martha, who had just lost her brother Lazarus. Jesus was near by and found out Lazarus had been in the tomb four days. This is significant to the story. Jewish burial customs held the general belief that the spirit of one who had died hovered over the body for three days with hope of reentering the body at some point. So that Lazarus had been dead and in the tomb for four days, according to these customs, the spirit must enter Sheol, forever locked out of the body. Hope is gone. This pains Martha and those who have come to grieve with her. The discourse between her and Jesus is quite interesting. She knows that her brother will rise in the end, the Day of the Resurrection of the dead. This is the belief of the Pharisees and those in their school of thought–but there was nothing personal about this resurrection.
Her knowledge is in her head, but Jesus wants to go to her heart.
Jesus turns to her and gives us our final I Am statement of the series and says, READ 25-27.
Look at what Jesus does! Jesus moves this belief about the resurrection from abstract to reality, from her head to her heart. What a magnificient statement for us to read today!

The Person of Jesus

He unequivocally states he is the resurrection.
Martha’s reality is about to be changed. Her brother has no hope of rising until the end of time and the family’s hope is all but gone. There is nothing for them hold onto, until Jesus enters the picture! Jesus tells them that he is what it means to experience resurrection. Look at what the text says: he is the resurrection. He is what it means to live beyond death, to live over death, and to rule over this world. Look back at the John chapter 1. In the beginning of his gospel, John tells us of Jesus:
John 1:3–5 ESV
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:9–13 ESV
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
There is physical life in Jesus because, as he tells us in , he existed before Abraham. Before anything in this world existed the eternal Word of God lived, and it was through this Word everything gained its being, and this Word sustains even still today! This is the personhood of God the Son, the Lord Jesus! This is the Jesus revealed in Scripture. This is the Jesus of whom Paul says,
1 Corinthians 15:12–19 ESV
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
This is the magnitude of what Jesus is claiming. Remember, they are close to Jerusalem. There is foreshadowing of Jesus’ impending death upon the cross and this resurrection is the last sign, miracle, in John’s gospel until Jesus’ own resurrection. He is demonstrating to those who might refute his work in Lazarus and preparing them for what the Spirit of God will do on the third day after his resurrection. He is telling them there is no hope lost because the fullness of hope has arrived.
He unequivocally states he is the life.
Why did Jesus come in the first place? To give his life as a ransom for many, to poor out his blood of the New Covenant in order for many to receive the forgiveness of sins. Paul tells us that without the resurrection of Jesus we remain in our sins; we, like Lazarus’ family, have no hope of resurrection. But that is not what happens, is it? The tomb is empty! Of course we have hope. Paul gives us such assurance:
1 Thessalonians 4:14 ESV
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
Lazarus has fallen asleep, and many believers in Jesus whom we know have fallen asleep in Jesus. Here Jesus tells us that in him there is not only life on this earth, such as John tells us in the first chapter, but that there is life eternal in Jesus. Look at the most famous verse in all of Scripture. Jesus tells us in this account between he and Nicodemus:
John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus tells us just before our passage today in that he came to give not just life, but life abundant. But there is a distinct connection to life on earth and this life abundant: it is Jesus. That connection is found in our passage today:
“The one who believes in me, though that one dies yet shall that one live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.
John 11:25b–26 CSB
Jesus said to 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. Do you believe this?”
Did you catch that? That one word: belief. tells us that all those who received (believed!) in Jesus he gave the power to be sons and daughters of God; tells us that if we believe in Jesus we shall not perish; and even in , look at what he says to the Samaritan woman:
John 11.25a
John 4:13–15 ESV
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
John 4.

The Promise of Jesus

This moves us to the promise of Jesus.
The promise of Jesus is that if you die you will rise again. He will demonstrate such with Lazarus, and even more, he will demonstrate that with his own resurrection.

The promise of Jesus is that if you believe, though you might physically die, death itself cannot take you from God. Read Paul in where he says:
Romans 8:31–39 ESV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8.31-
There is nothing in this world for the one who believes in Jesus that can take you from the hand of Jesus. Belief in Jesus secures you eternally to Jesus.
That is the promise of this text based on the person of Jesus. If Jesus is who he says he is in all of Scripture, and he is, then the promises he makes are true because he himself is truth. The promise is that if you believe in this Jesus, the Son of the Living God who came to take away our sins on the cross of Calvary, then you have eternal life here and now, you have freedom and are free of the condemnation and dominion of sin. The things of this world fall away. Moth and rust destroy what is of this world, but eternal life in the One who is not of this world cannot be taken away from you, and it cannot be taken away from me.

Martha, do you believe this?

This is how Jesus ends his discussion with Martha. He has told and revealed to her who he is and what he is about as the Son of God, and now asks her: “Do you believe this?” This question makes the conversation intimate and personal. He has spoken to her in a way that moves her mind from the abstract, from simply thinking about the resurrection in far-off terms, and brings this idea into a reality. This is now a personal belief. He is bringing Martha, and now all persons who read this text, to the point where we are confronted by his person and promise: there is no resurrection or true life outside of Jesus. And because these things cannot be found outside of who he is, those who are in Christ cannot have resurrection and life taken from them. For Martha, her brother was beyond all rescue; death had its full grips on him. But even death itself bows to Jesus.
Jesus asks Martha, “Do you believe this?” Do you believe that I am who I say I am? Her response is magnificient: Yes, Lord; I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God who is coming into the world.” John ends his gospel by saying:
Jesus has made himself the center of not only Jewish hope but hope for all persons who believe.
John 20:31 ESV
but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
We see the person of Jesus, and we see the promises of Jesus. The great Heidelberg Catechism asks this: What does it help you now, that you believe all of this? The answer? That I am righteous in Christ before God, and an heir of eternal life. Martha, do you believe this?
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more