John 11 shares the miracle of Jesus that sets in process the need to crucify him. The brother of Mary and Martha becomes ill and dies in Bethany, 2 miles from Jerusalem and religious hierarchy. Jesus hears but does not rush to help. He waits. Four days after Lazarus’ death Jesus arrives. Jesus comforts Martha
“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.”(11:25,26)
Mary then met Jesus with the grief of many of our hearts, “If you had been here…” Jesus stands at the grave and cries. He then tells the people to remove the stone and Jesus calls Lazarus back to life. “Let him go!” This was a dramatic demonstration of Jesus’ authority as God, his power over death, and a picture of what he was about to face. He not only said he was the “resurrection,” he showed the people what that meant.
Amazingly the Pharisees who believed in after-life but realized that what Jesus did would be a threat to their religious security in the eyes of Rome and with the people started to plot the downfall of Jesus. Miracles can be threatening.
“Resurrection” is a word we use to describe bringing back to life. We all know a form of death before physical death claims our bodies. We know the death of dreams when young love fails, the death of vision when we loose our job, and perhaps a death of hope when a beloved dies. Faith does not guarantee that all sick people will be brought back from death’s door. Faith does mean believing that Jesus will stand at that door to death, will walk through it with us, and a new life will begin on the other side, eternal life. Jesus has resurrection power. He can pick us up off our knees, out of the gutter, from defeat and lead us into new starts. Mary and Martha did not really understand for they could not envision the meaning of resurrection but they were willing to trust Jesus. I pray as you look at those hurting places in your life that need resurrection power that you will reach out in faith. We think, “if only Jesus had been here,” our situation would be different. He is here with us, walking beside us, guarding our back, and preparing our future. Blessings.