John 11:25–26 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Death is a reality we all face since the defiance of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God warned Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, saying, “in the day you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) On the day they sought self-satisfaction rather than trusting the promises of God, Adam and Eve died spiritually and sealed their earthly days with their eventual physical death – the sound verdict of a just and righteous God. Due to the sin of our earthly parents, just condemnation is the sentence of us all – “in Adam all die.” (1 Corinthians 15:22). From that day forward, spiritual death separates us from the life and eternal blessing of God, and physical death stalks our path. God’s decree of death brings dread and doom to us all.
Thankfully that’s not the whole story. God wills to put His glory and grace on display. Consequently, His eternal plan to provide salvation in Jesus is not a reaction, but God’s predetermined provision to restore spiritual and physical life to all He saves. Restoration is at the heart of why Jesus took on human flesh and came to earth. The sinless Son of God became the sin-bearing sacrificial Lamb of God, appeasing God’s righteous wrath against us and renewing the hope of life that sin and selfishness removed. Through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, God’s grace and mercy are openly displayed by Jesus, who alone is the who can restore mankind (John 14:6).
During his earthly life, Jesus became dear friends with Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. In the days leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus, Lazarus becomes ill and dies. Jesus travels with His disciples to bring glory to the Father and Himself by bringing Lazarus back to life. Before Jesus goes to the tomb to restore His friend’s life, He meets Martha, who is in the fourth day of grief over her brother’s death. Martha expresses belief in the power of Jesus by saying Jesus could have prevented this death, but she believes now it’s too late.
Announcing the truth behind the Lord’s eternal plan to provide salvation, Jesus proclaims, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Through His death, burial and resurrection, although on that day it was yet future, Jesus shares the hope of resurrection life that we celebrate on Resurrection Day every year. The death that came in the Garden of Eden, Jesus restores on the cross, in the tomb, and by His resurrection. “Everyone who lives and believes” in Jesus is granted His victory over death. Divine retribution for sin is satisfied by the provision of a suffering Savior. Death, as the sting of sin, is removed once and for all for those trusting in Jesus.
Lazarus heard the voice of Jesus call, “Lazarus, come out!” We hear the call of our Lord through the gospel to come out of sin and death, trusting the work of Jesus. Because Jesus lives, we have the means to the restoration of life and fellowship with God. Life in Jesus is our hope on Easter and for eternity. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. “Do you believe this?”