Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25)
Today, everyday, this is the reality of Easter. On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead. He conquered death, and victory was secured.
This glorious truth, that Jesus is the Resurrection, was shared to Martha long before His journey to the Cross. Before His death was even imagined or comprehended by His disciples.
In terms of time, we may live on the other side of the Cross and we live with the knowledge that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried and rose again on the third day. But still, this is a declaration that Jesus makes to us today. We don’t need to wait for “the last day” to experience the resurrection power of Jesus. Jesus is here now, raising us to a new kind of life through His Spirit.
So the question that Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe this?” is the same for us today. Do we believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? Today? Now? Not just for a date in the future but for our today?
Her reply, “Yes Lord, I believe”
So many of our days are “ordinary”, insignificant for lack of notable achievements or milestones. In fact for many of us we often spend days caught between the promise and fulfilment. We are in the hallway. And well it feels at best uneventful. It’s not exhilarating. But it is in these times that our attitude, our character and our integrity are tested much. It’s when we keep on keeping on.
It’s the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The day with no special name. Good Friday and Easter Sunday are perhaps the most significant days on the entire church calendar. We learn across these two days that when God seems most absent He may be closest to all; when He looks most powerless He may be more powerful. The sacrifice and the victory seen on these two Holy Days. Powerful and significant days, but I would suggest to you that in a real sense we live our lives for the most part on the Saturday, the day in between. That time between the promise and fulfilment.
Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is Saturday. Just Saturday. Not worthy enough for a public holiday. Just an ordinary day. A day that is like so many other days. It’s the day after the doctor’s report, the bank statement arrival, the day after the relationship breaks down. It can be a dreary and wearying day. Weary from grieving. Wearying from fighting to keep hope in the promise still to come.
We may be in a Saturday season but we can live it with the power and revelation of Resurrection Sunday! The resurrection of Jesus gives birth to a hope that says you may be in the middle of circumstances that deny a reason to have hope but you can still hope. Hope reinterprets circumstances. God’s resurrection power turns death into life, despair into hope, weakness into strength. It may seem like nothing is happening, nothing is changing, but God is always working behind the scenes for us!
It may be a Saturday but let’s live in the light and life of Resurrection Sunday!
She’s crying. A beloved brother dead. Lazarus buried. Grief overwhelms. But there is hope. A conversation with Jesus. He is the Resurrection and the Life. The revelation settles in her heart and faith is stirred. She believes. A miracle awaits.
“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. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11:21-27)
Yet somehow, so quickly, after the word – the promise from Jesus, the faith, the hope is gone again. Her eyes are not on Jesus, but on the tomb. She sees the physical evidence that her brother is dead. The facts that say it’s over. The stench, the dead body overwhelms. Tears come. Grief returns.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.” (John 11:39)
A tomb is not the place for miracles.
Or is it?
Sometimes we are in no man’s land. Between the word and its fulfilment. Our faith wavers. Our eyes are pulled towards the physical, the natural realm and our perceived reality of truth. We see our impossible situation. Our dreams, our hopes are dead. We take our eyes off Jesus and see the storm, the waves, we see the earthly reality. Our faith shatters. We can see only the tomb. Our feet slip beneath the waves.
We lose sight of our promised miracle and our answer to prayer. We lose sight of Jesus.
But God is faithful and true to His promises.
“For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God by us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. (John 11:43-44)
Soon there would be another tomb. And soon another Resurrection. And this one would eternally prove that Jesus, the tomb raider, is the Risen Lord. He can breathe life on our dead dreams, restore and heal. He can give us hope where we had none. And He can give us life when we think there is only death.
This post is part of Lysa TerKeurst’s “The Best Yes” Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE.
Why did Jesus wait?
It was His friend that was very sick, it was His friends that He loved that had called for Him. At the very least, His presence would have been a comfort to them. But four days? I know that this was in the time before transportation like we have available to us was around, but surely He could have got there sooner? Worse still, it wasn’t only the travel time that delayed Jesus’ arrival but that even after hearing the news, He stayed on for another two days. And so He arrived too late to heal Lazarus. By then Lazarus was dead. Buried. There was a stone rolled over the grave. If there was a situation that from all vantage points was over, final, finished – this was it!
In Lysa Terkeurt’s book “The Best Yes”, she wrote “Jesus had already shown the world He could heal. Now He needed to show all that He could resurrect. They had to know that.”
We need to grab hold of that truth. Jesus not only heals but He resurrects. Lysa continued to write “some unexpected hurts require more than just healing. Paralysed places that feel dead inside us need a full-on resurrection.” I am sure that we can all look at our lives and see aspects that are beyond healing. Parts of our lives that need the impossible impossible – resurrection! Dreams that are dead, relationships that are over, circumstances that speak of finality – where there is not even the slightest sliver of hope.
He resurrects! It is time to silence the voice of the dead dreams and let the voice of the Dream Giver speak again. And know this – when God resurrects something it is restored better than before!
To Martha, Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life”
That has not changed. To your impossible situation, to the dead dreams and no hope circumstances – to you, Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life.” And He stands outside the tomb and calls life forth.
New York Times Bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst has written a new book about finding your Best Yes. You need a highlighter for this book! The wisdom in this book is more than a fridge door can handle! It’s a must read! You can grab a copy at http://goo.gl/ZFUZbD