John 11:25-26 (ESV) — Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Funerals are sad. It doesn’t matter if the person was a Christian or not. The sadness is there. Family and friends gather and mourn the loss of someone they loved. Spouses and children say goodbye to a father or mother, husband or wife. These are not easy things, even when the person deceased is in Heaven.
One of the practices of funerals is the graveside component. I often stand with my Bible open to 1 Corinthians 15 and read about the future resurrection of the dead. It is an important aspect of the Christian’s hope. Jesus is coming again and His coming will mark the end of this broken and fallen world. He will restore the world and make it new. That includes raising the dead from the graves and giving us glorified bodies. I remind people of this at every funeral.
Our passage today anchors us to the reason we can count on that hope. Jesus’ words at the funeral of Lazarus are profound reminders of not only how He was about to perform the miracle there in Bethany, but how He is able to raise us from the graves on the day of His return. He tells them, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus is the resurrection. He was not only going to be raised from the dead, He is the living embodiment of the resurrection. All that people have ever hoped for in a future life is wrapped up in Him. Everyone in communion with Christ, who is the resurrection and the life, “though he die, yet shall he live.”
A resurrection is a return to life. For Jesus to say He is the resurrection is to say He is the return to life. To know life is to know it through Jesus Christ. We must belong to Him if we are to know life. The return to life that the world dead and broken in sin needs is found in Christ alone.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is Jesus the resurrection and the life? How is He able to be that?
- How do we become recipients of that life that Jesus provides?
- In what ways should it shape our lives today that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? How then should we live?
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