the Resurrection and the Life

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life:he that believeth in me, thought he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this ?

Jesus is here answering a question from Martha, the sister of Lazarus who has died. Jesus had known he was ill, yet had waited another two days before going to him. Jesus is about to bring Lazarus back to life as we read later in the account in the Gospel of John, chapter 11.

Like so many of Jesus miracles, such as the story of the man born blind recorded in chapter 9, Jesus is teaching a spiritual truth through the circumstances of a miracle.

Lazarus has died, but Jesus brings him back to life. The purpose is to show that it is God who is the author of life and death, and that our living or our dying is in his hands, and none other.

This fundamentally challenges the wisdom of our age today because we are taught that man is not spiritual or eternal, but merely transitory and material. Mankind no longer answers to a Creator, but we human beings are instead our own god. Man is now – to cite a famous thinker of the godless Enlightenment period of history – the measure of all things: God no longer counts.

The consequences are all around us in a world beset by social injustice and social ills.

But here Jesus is pointedly teaching that he is the author of life and death. He can determine the issue for each one of us.

Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

And he then poses the question – a question for all of us – Believest thou this ?

Jesus would himself of course go to the cross and be put to death. And the God the Father would raise him up again.

The apostle Paul told us why when he wrote to the Romans.

In chapter 4, verse 25 of his letter to the Romans, Paul says that Jesus was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification.

What we could not do for ourselves – that is appease the anger of a holy righteous God against our sinfulness – Jesus did by offering himself as a sacrifice on the cross, in our place.

But Jesus also set the example teaching us how we are to follow him. By going to the cross ourselves, that is by dying to our own selfishness and giving up our desire to disobey God, we can then be resurrected to live our lives in the power of God’s Spirit.

We enter into a whole new life when by faith – that is trusting that what Jesus says is true – we recognise that we are helpless sinners in need of God’s forgiveness and God’s help. Having accepted that Jesus alone can pay the price of our sin, and that Jesus alone can help, we must be baptised by immersion in water to identify ourselves with Jesus death and resurrection.

Having taken that step of obedience by faith in Christ, we enter into a spiritual life which is characterised by this process of death and resurrection.

Death to self, and finding God’s power to live for him in his way, and not for self in our own way.

This process is at the heart of salvation: being saved from sin and Satan, and being alive to God to live for him.

It is a process at the heart of the Christian life, and it explains all that happens to us as we seek to follow Jesus.

By Christianity

The personal icon photograph shows God's creation, the world. It reminds us that God is the Creator of all - the almighty, the all knowing and all present - the one who is most important of all. The one to whom we owe all, and the one to whom we will answer for all. The site's header image of the Bible [King James Authorised Version], a map, a light and a compass represent to us that God's word in the Bible is our spiritual map, illumination and guide through this life. Those who obey his teaching will know his presence and power - Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 23

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