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?” John 11:25-26
This sentence was first spoken at the graveside of a close friend of Jesus named Lazarus. He had died a few days earlier, and his sisters Mary and Martha are gathered with the rest of the family and community in mourning. Jesus comes along; admittedly too late. He can longer heal a sickness. Death has grabbed hold, and it’s been long enough that John tells us the body has already started to decompose.
John takes away any doubts of the veracity of the death. He’s really dead, not just asleep. He’s really dead, not just passed out or in some kind of a coma. The only way Lazarus walks this earth again is by a resurrection. This reminds me of John’s writing in chapter 2 when he describes Jesus’ first miracle: changing water to wine at the wedding in Cana. When he tells the account he makes sure that the reader knows there was nothing added to those stone jars. Fill them with water, and fill them to the brim! There could be nothing added at a later time. No slight of hand magic, just a creation miracle where one substance is made from a completely unrelated substance. It was Jesus’ first miracle, and many who saw put their faith in him.
This one might be his greatest miracle though. Lazarus, dead and buried, is called out of the tomb to new life. Jesus calls him by name and he walks the earth again! Jesus is the resurrection and the life! Not only did he revive Lazarus, Jesus would find himself dead and buried, and God would raise him to new life as well. Easter is this celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. He IS the Resurrection and the Life!
This is Good News for us. We are on the way to the grave. Some of us are farther down the road, but we’re all moving in the same direction. Easter reminds us that our graves will only be temporary resting places. For Christians we don’t just RIP, but we’ll also RIG! Because Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life all who believe in Him will Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!