The Resurrection and the Life

This week we are dwelling in the Word and exploring the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus. Today’s reading is John 11:1-37, the story of Jesus bringing Lazarus back from the dead. It’s in this story that Jesus declares he is the resurrection and the life.

Jesus was very close with Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus. When Lazarus died, Jesus went to comfort the two sisters and weep with them. His loving presence in their time of grief is a powerful example of the ministry of presence—not trying to fix people, or say the magic words that will take away their pain, but to simply stand with them in solidarity.

Martha expressed some frustration that Jesus hadn’t come earlier to save Lazarus before he died. But Jesus reframed that conversation to teach her (and us) something critical about our Christian faith: the one who believes in Jesus will live, even though they die.

Jesus used the tragic occasion of a dear friend’s death to communicate the beauty of the eternal hope with have in God. But Jesus did not end the encounter there. Instead, he brought Lazarus back from the dead!

Jesus has the power to turn our weakness into strength, to change our mourning into dancing, and to turn our sorrow into joy. We believe in faith that we can have hope and joy in every situation because the promises of God will always transcend the difficulties of our circumstances.

Jesus wants us to experience life to the full, and the story Lazarus is a powerful example of what that looks like!