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I AM…The Resurrection and the Life
“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 11:25-26 NASB1995
The fifth “I AM” statement is in chapter 11 of the Gospel of John. Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha and a good friend of Jesus, has just died. Jesus delayed his journey to Bethany after he heard that Lazarus was very sick; his apostles were not happy with the decision to be so near to Jerusalem just before Passover because of all of the threats against Jesus and His followers. Jesus arrives four days after the death of Lazarus, which is significant for this final miracle before the crucifixion. According to the Jewish beliefs, the soul lingered near the body for three days in case the body returned to life. On the fourth day, the soul moved on, so this miracle brings back the departed soul of Lazarus and reunites it with his body. It is not the only miracle that Jesus performs that brings a person back to life, as Bible readers know, but the circumstances are unique and are witnessed by many who had come to console Mary and Martha.
Martha greets Jesus and asks why He delayed so long in returning, as Lazarus might have been cured through a miracle before death. Jesus tells her that her brother will rise again. She acknowledges the resurrection on the final day. That is when Jesus responds with this incredible statement that HE is the Resurrection and the Life for all who believe. He weeps with Mary and Martha because of His unending and deep compassion for us and then proceeds into the tomb to bring the now-decaying body of Lazarus back to life. Many who where there that day became believers. This sends shock waves through the Sanhedrin, who now know that He must be put to death as soon as possible (Lazarus is also a likely victim of their rage in the near future, but we don’t know that with total certainty).
John MacArthur, in his sermon on John 11 and this statement of Jesus’ divinity before the supernatural display of His powers over life and death, states it this way:
Here our Lord not only says He will be the judge and the one who raises the dead, but He is, in fact, the resurrection and the life. It's not just something He does to give life. It is who He is, and that's how the gospel of John began. "In the beginning was the Word - " meaning the Lord Jesus Christ, " – and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life."
He is the source of everything that lives. He is the resurrection and the life because He is life. He has the power to create out of nothing, and He has the power to raise the dead because He is life. He doesn't draw His life from anyone else or anywhere else. Life itself exists in Him. He is life. This is His nature, and He is eternal life, who has been alive eternally and that life He granted to His creation. Everything that exists, everything that exists in the spiritual and physical world, He made. The inanimate things He made and the animate things that live, He made. From the smallest cell to the most complex human being, He gave life to everything that lives.
He is the Creator of life, and because He is the life, He will raise all the dead and give them a body suited for their eternal dwelling. Death is not the end. Death is a split second transition.
John MacArthur is known for his expository preaching. He is the lead pastor of Grace Community Church in California and does a radio and TV show “Grace to You”. We own his study Bible, which we take with us on camping trips when there is no internet service for our on-line Bible applications.
Jesus is the Bread of Life. Jesus is the Light of the World. Jesus is the Door of the Sheep. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life.
The next “I AM” devotional will examine “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life” from John 14:6.