Verse of the Day Devotion: John 11:25
“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies,” – John 11:25
Over the next few weekdays, we will be looking at seven verses where Jesus declares “I AM”, and then gives a metaphor regarding what He is. Today, we will look at the fifth of these, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
This chapter tells the story of the death of Lazarus and his eventual resurrection. His sisters Martha and Mary knew Jesus from a past meeting. “Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. And it was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.” John 11:1-2. And because they knew Him, they sent for Jesus to come because their brother Lazarus was extremely sick. When Jesus received the message, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” John 11:4b.
However, though He loved the three of them, He stayed where He was for two additional days. This was done for the purpose of revealing Himself to them in a way they had not seen and heard before. Then He tells the disciples it is time to go to Judea. “The disciples said to Him, Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?” John 11:8. However, Jesus answers them by saying, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.” John 11:9. This statement refers to a comment He made in chapter nine. “We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5. What He was saying is that His time was drawing near, and He must do the work He was sent to do prior to His death. Now, in speaking of Lazarus Jesus said that he was asleep, and He needed to go and wake him up. When He said this, the disciples thought He meant He was asleep and said He would recover and wake up. However, Jesus then came out and said, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” John 11:14b-15.
When Jesus arrives in Judea, Martha goes out to Jesus and said, “Your brother shall rise again.” John 11:23. Martha responds, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” John 11:24. She believed in the resurrection in the last day, but Jesus was referring to the present. Then our focus verse, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies,” following up with “and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:26. She then answers, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.” John 11:27.
She believed He was the promised Messiah. And Jesus shows her that neither Death nor time is an obstacle to Him. While standing outside the tomb with the stone rolled away, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, Come Forth.” John 11:43. And Lazarus came out He came forth after being dead for four days. Jesus proved that with Him, death is but sleep. Paul says the following, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14. Death has no dominion over Him who is Life itself, nor does death have dominion over those who are in Him. “For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting.” 1 Corinthians 15:53-55.
Jesus’ statement that He is the resurrection and the life provides a Godly perspective on several spiritual matters. Martha believed that the resurrection is an event; Jesus showed her that the resurrection is a Person. Martha’s knowledge of eternal life was an abstract idea; Jesus proved that knowledge of eternal life is a personal relationship. Martha thought victory over death was a future expectation; Jesus corrects her, showing that victory is a present reality. And we must learn the same lesson Martha did. He is the resurrection, and all who are dead and followers of Christ will rise again from temporary “sleep” to an eternal life. He is the resurrection and the life. He essentially said, “I [and no other], regarding the future resurrection, is not an impersonal fate that is to take place at some future time, but a personal effect proceeding from Me who is present with you. It is even now present and active in Me. And the life in the absolute sense will awaken both the body and the spirit. If your body has died, in the resurrection you will have a new body for your spirit will still be alive. And if the body does not die, then you will receive a new body which is eternal, just as the those whose body has died.
Therefore, we are not to attach a merely spiritual meaning to the two propositions, just because Jesus is speaking of faith. For instance, he that believes on Christ shall rise again spiritually, and he that hath received life shall retain it forever, which would, again, involve the idea of the resurrection. And He makes this happen because e is the resurrection and He is the life.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.