By Linda Alexander
1 I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.
As a gardener, I love spring. There is something peaceful when looking at a field barren for the winter, but to see the early shoots of green appear across the field raises an expectation of spring for me. Spring equals life to me. Daffodils, crocuses, baby chicks, Easter and Jesus; these all speak to me of new life. In my spirit; the deep part of my soul, sometimes I feel like winter…barren, sorrowful, dark, and cold. It is as if my soul is missing something…missing the warmth and light of Jesus in my life. I’m sure that is how Mary and Martha felt in this passage for today.
Lazarus, their only brother, had died and was buried as the Jewish custom required. Jesus did not make it to their house before Lazarus died, but that was for a reason. As we read yesterday, Jesus tarried so that He could bring glory to God in what was about to happen. Mary and Martha were heartbroken and were suffering from the “if only” syndrome. They both said, “If only you had been here…” They knew if Jesus had been with them, He could have done something to save Lazarus. They had faith in Jesus, but for them, the time for help was gone. But for Jesus, help was just on time.
Jesus tells Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (vs. 25). When this is shared at funerals, pastors are referring to the realization that Christians live even after death with Jesus in heaven. And for Martha and Mary, Jesus was meaning literally also. Jesus was about to do a new thing—a miraculous thing. He was going to give life back to Lazarus.
In my winter days of my soul, I need Jesus to spread some life to me. He comes and His presence renews my soul. He is indeed, the “light of the world.” And as the light of the world, He brings light and life wherever He goes…even into my soul. Do you need some life today? Some light in the darkness? Come to Jesus and He will give you life everlasting.
Thank you Father for sending your Son to spread light and life to the world. You help me experience spring each and every day.
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”