Jesus - The Resurrection and the Life
A letter came from Health and Human Services to a resident of Greenville County, South Carolina: "Your food stamps will be stopped, effective March 1992, because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if your circumstances change."
There are often times we wish our circumstances could be changed but it seems that nothing can be done about them. What do we do? Do we complain, give up, lose faith, or do we bring them to Jesus?
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Where was Jesus, why didn’t He come in time, why didn’t He do something? Martha had been a close supporter of Jesus, welcoming Him and His disciples into her home, providing them food and probably shelter. She had expectations, she was disapointed.
We can all probably identify with Martha, questioning why something happened, wondering why God didn’t seem to be there when we needed Him.
She believed that Jesus could have healed her brother
She believes that even now He can do something
She leaves it up to Jesus to do what is best
Her brother will rise again. Many Jews, but not all, believed in a resurrection at the end of the age. This is how Martha takes Jesus’ words, but she wants something now.
Jesus could have healed Lazarus as soon as the news reached Him that Lazarus was ill. If He had done that it would have been another miracle which cause amazement, but Jesus waited because He had something far greater in mind.
He doesn’t scold or rebuke her. We can express our feelings to God without fear.
He is the resurrection and the life – Jesus seeks to move her from her pain to His person
Whoever believes in Him will live (spiritual) even though he dies (physical) – points ahead to the future resurrection as a source of hope
Whoever lives (spiritual) and believes in Him will never die (spiritual) – looks to the present life of faith as a source of strength
Do we believe this?
Do we believe this?
Like Martha, are we willing to bring our disappointments to Jesus and trust in His power to bring hope out of disappointment, life out of death?
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push.
After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave his car running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years.
Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, “Why Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable.” He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson’s astonishment, the engine roared to life.
For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting the power to work.
It is faith that connects us to the power of Christ and His resurrection.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.